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Councillors hope “radical” plans will improve health prospects of Staffordshire residents

County councillors have drawn up a “radical” five year health plan they hope will improve the lives of people living in Lichfield and Burntwood.

The Living Well in Staffordshire scheme is hoping to provide better care in the community and address some of the wider issues involved in public health.

The Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Robbie Marshall, said the focus needed to move towards prevention of illness.

Cllr Robbie Marshall

Cllr Robbie Marshall

He said: “Wellbeing is influenced by a wide range of factors such as education, jobs, experience of crime and while Staffordshire is healthier than many other areas, this plan will help to reduce any inequalities that exist and provide people with appropriate quality care at every stage of their lives.

“For far too long, we have prioritised spending around people once they need treatment in hospitals, when it would make much better sense to invest in preventing illness in the first place.

“Helping people to make the right choice to lead healthier lives is essential.”

The plan aims to support families to be active and eat well, as well as reducing the impact of alcohol-related illness.

The proposals have been drawn up by Staffordshire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, which is made up of councils, NHS officials and public health bodies.

And the County Council believes a change in strategy is needed to avoid a huge rise in the cost of keeping the population health.

Staffordshire has seen a surge in the number of its residents aged over 65, with predictions suggesting the cost of providing social care and NHS services could rise by £62million by 2018.

“The issue of funding adult social care is a growing national concern,” Cllr Marshall added.

“We want to support people in the community to live independent, fulfilled lives and believe this plan gives us an unprecedented opportunity to radically overhaul how health and social care is delivered and really transform the lives of people in Staffordshire.”

People can find out more and give their views on the Living Well in Staffordshire plan at www.engagingcommunitiesstaffordshire.co.uk.

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