Blackpool has been praised for its commitment for improving health in the resort by the Minister for Public Health.
Jane Ellison spent time learning about the town’s Fit 2 Go programme, which offers a six week health and fitness programme to year four pupils in Blackpool, which is being held at Unity College this week.
Children aged eight and nine spend time with their families learning about healthy eating and how to get the right amount of exercise through the scheme, which is run by Blackpool FC Community Trust, Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Blackpool Council through the Altogether Now initiative.
Speaking yesterday, Ms Ellison said: “One reason I wanted to come to Blackpool was because I know there are so many public health challenges here, and it’s been really interesting to hear some of the quite dramatic improvements in some areas as well as hearing from people on the front line about how they have done that.
“What has come across so clearly here is the importance of partnership. I love the Altogether Now idea because it shows how public health is everyone’s business.”
The minister heard from public health specialists Judith Mills and Steve Morton about how Blackpool’s levels of smoking during pregnancy have dropped from 42 per cent of pregnancies in 2009 to 26 per cent as it is now.
But Mr Morton said public health officers in Blackpool would like better access to information from central databases to better analyse statistics.
Ms Ellison, who was invited to the town by Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard, said she would be taking the request back to Public Health England.
She added: “It’s important that we highlight where people are making progress.
“I’d like to be able to come back and see the further progress that is made here.”