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Agenda item

Update on Public Health Programme


The Acting Consultant in Public Health introduced a report updating the Panel on the public health programme and the position on health checks.  Members noted the overall context in which Slough was either similar to, or worse than, the England average on a wide range of indicators set out in the Public Health Outcomes Framework.  Slough had poor outcomes in terms of life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, smoking prevalence, obesity and levels of activity.


In relation to health checks, which were now universally offered to people aged between 40-74, it was noted that since 2013, 35,795 of Slough residents had been eligible for a check, 20,858 had been offered a check and 12,204 people had taken up the offer.  Members expressed concerns about the apparently low level of take up given the high levels of preventable health problems in Slough.  The Officer responded that the uptake by those offered a health check was higher than the national average and a significant amount of activity was underway to target those people more at risk who may benefit most from having a check.


The Panel asked about the success of initiatives to tackle childhood obesity.  In addition to the wide range of programmes in schools, it was noted that there was significant investment in the Council’s leisure facilities as part of the wider Leisure Strategy to increase the levels of activity by ensuring local people used the new and improved facilities.  Members asked that the family orientated activities surrounding the return of the Slough half-marathon in October be promoted.  The issue of obesity more widely was discussed and the Director of Adults & Communities highlighted the forthcoming awareness campaign to be launched by the Slough Wellbeing Board partners.


(Councillor Qaseem joined the meeting)


A Member highlighted the problems caused by smoking and drinking in local parks and the Panel asked that the senior leadership team give further consideration to the options to tackle the issue including the prohibition of alcohol and smoking in public areas, canals and parks.


It was noted that children in Slough had significantly worse oral health compared to national and regional averages.  The Healthy Smiles Slough project had been launched in March 2017 to tackle the problem by delivering information, creating environments that promoted oral health and worked with partners to ensure oral health was promoted as part of wider public health activity.  The Panel asked for further information on the outcomes of oral health initiatives for younger children and that the appropriate linkages be made for oral health services to Looked After Children (LAC) and Members asked to be updated with oral check numbers for LAC.


The Panel discussed the work being undertaken so that the Council was an exemplar in promoting wellbeing and it was noted that the Overview & Scrutiny Committee was conducting a major review into the area.  In view of the Council’s responsibilities as a corporate parent, the Panel recommended that health activities in Slough be extended to include free use of electric bicycles for looked after children and care leavers in Slough.


At the conclusion of the discussion, the Panel noted the update and thanked the Acting Consultant in Public Health who would shortly by leaving the Council for her work in promoting public health in Slough.


Resolved – 


(a)  That the update be noted.


(b)  That further information be provided to the Panel on the outcomes of oral health programmes for younger children aged between 0-5 and oral health checks for looked after children.


(c)  That senior leadership give consideration to the further actions that could be undertaken to reduce smoking and alcohol consumption in parks and open spaces.


(d)  That the electric vehicle scheme be made available for free to looked after children and care leavers.

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