Work to boost health in borough is praised

Poulton Civic Centre
Poulton Civic Centre
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Work being done to help boost the health of Wyre’s ageing population has been praised in an independent report.

Despite being hit by millions of pounds of government cuts in recent years, council chiefs have been successful in their bid to make ‘Healthier Wyre’ a priority in the borough, the Local Government Association (LGA) found.

It praised the £6m investment into leisure centres, initiatives such as the Lockwood Surgery health hub in Poulton, and its work with NHS bosses to tackle mental health issues.

Coun Vivien Taylor, Wyre Council’s health and community chief, said: “This report clearly demonstrates that Wyre is not only making excellent progress towards addressing health challenges in the borough,but also that we are leading a new and forward-thinking approach to collaborative health care in communities.

“Together with our partners, we want to change the way healthcare is delivered by integrating our services with those of other health providers to offer a seamless and holistic approach to wellbeing.

“We are particularly focused on prevention and self-care by encouraging people to make healthy choices and lead active lifestyles.”

Last year, the council worked with Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for organising and paying for residents’ healthcare, to move Lockwood Avenue surgery into the Civic Centre in Breck Road, Poulton.

A team from the Fylde coast’s Extensive Care Service, which looks after people with long-term illnesses in a bid to keep them out of hospital, is also based there, while referrals can also be made to council services dealing with issues such as debt, housing, and disabled adaptations.

The review, carried out by two councillors, a council chief executive, Public Health England deputy director Ann Crawford, and manager at the LGA, said Wyre has better than average rates of GCSE attainment, childhood poverty, homelessness, unemployment, violent crime, and smoking, with Carleton one of the least deprived in England.

But has worse than average levels of exercise among adults, youngsters being taken to hospital in booze-related incidents, admissions for alcohol-related harm, and road injuries and deaths. Some areas of Fleetwood are some of the most deprived nationally.

The council should now focus on tackling health issues for children – with the current plan ‘skewed’ towards older people, the report added.