Promoting health and wellbeing, and managing chronic disease

We know that modern lifestyles are contributing to an increase in chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (heart attacks and strokes), cancer and dementia. Unhealthy behaviours are often established early in life and we want to encourage people to think about what they can do to improve their health. To deliver this priority, we will, for example:

  • Create an active legacy from the Commonwealth Games
  • Roll out GP ‘social prescribing’, i.e., exercise rather than medication where appropriate
  • Analyse large datasets to identify people at risk of chronic disease and target screening and services accordingly
Staff health and wellbeing

As the health and social care organisations of Birmingham and Solihull, we are major regional employers. The health and wellbeing of our staff is extremely important for its own sake, and to support those for whom they care. We lose an average of 6.6 days in sickness absence per member of staff, 40% of which is related to mental health. To deliver this priority, we will, for example:

  • Identify innovative practices for promoting staff health and wellbeing within our organisations and spread them more widely across our partnership
  • Make mental health first aid training widely available
  • Provide healthy options in canteens and exercise options at work
Promoting skills and prosperity

Our organisations provide secure jobs for all skill levels and with long term career prospects. We will invest in recruitment and retention locally, from entry level posts supported by the Apprenticeship Levy, through to the highest skilled posts, so that we, as major local employers, can support a ‘virtuous cycle’ of employment and economic growth.

We will target this effort to areas that have greatest scope for economic regeneration, such as (but not limited to) East Birmingham and North Solihull. To deliver on this priority, we will, for example:

  • Maximise the possibilities for new professional roles, such as nursing associates, to meet the service needs of the future
  • Provide mentoring, coaching and work experience, and offer apprenticeships and entry level employment opportunities, to people with mental health conditions, young people in the care system and other vulnerable people within our communities, so that they are supported to find work
  • Support our staff to gain experience in different parts of the sector through work shadowing and placements, including in primary care centres
Breaking the cycle of deprivation

There are about 2,500 people in Birmingham and Solihull with at least three markers of extreme disadvantage, including homelessness, severe mental illness, substance misuse, or having been offenders. We will take a targeted approach to support people to break out of a cycle of chronic and severe disadvantage. To deliver on this priority, we will, for example:

  • Commit our full support as partners to delivering the aims of the Changing Futures and Fulfilling Lives initiative for people with the most entrenched and severe problems, led by the voluntary and third sector in Birmingham. We will develop a joint approach with the sector to respond to specific challenges in Solihull

Support the NHS MERIT (Mental Health Alliance for Excellence, Resilience, Innovation and Training) programme to reduce the number of people who are placed out of their area for acute psychiatric care, and to improve their recovery and outcomes