Memorandum by West Surrey Health Authority
Health Promotion Service (PH 37)|
is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and
to improve their health."
World Health Organisation
We are the lead agency for health promotion.
We initiate, co-ordinate, develop and support programmes which
promote and improve health and wellbeing.
We are a specialist service within West Surrey
Health Authority and part of the Directorate of Public Health.
We operate from three sites as well as having a key presence at
the Health Authority's headquarters in Camberley.
2. OUR ROLE
Our main role is to work in partnership with
organisations and communities to:
Tackle root causes of ill health.
Reduce inequalities in health.
Build healthy public policy.
Support and develop health promoting environments.
Strengthen community action.
Develop personal, health and social skills.
3. HOW WE
Our activities aim to promote and improve health
offering specialist advice and consultancy;
creating and developing partnerships;
developing strategies and policies;
managing programmes and projects;
providing training and resources.
4. OUR STAFF
Our staff come from a variety of personal backgrounds,
and their skills include:
strategy and organisational development;
needs assessment and research;
facilitation and training;
public relations and communication;
outreach and advocacy;
specialist knowledge in a variety of health and related
Our health promotion programmes reflect both
national and local priorities including those in West Surrey Health
Improvement Programme. (HImP). These include:
coronary heart disease and stroke;
cancer, inc. smoking;
sexual health and HIV/AIDS, inc. teenage pregnancy;
6. HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
Our programmes target specific population groups
in a range of settings and localities.
schools and youth settings;
Our principles and standards include improving
accessibility, acceptability and effectiveness. Above all we strive
to promote equity and improve health. The Service has received
the Investors in People Award for the second time (2000-03)for
our commitment to quality, professional development and governance.
8. RESOURCE &
We operate from Centres in Addlestone and Guildford,
with a satellite centre in Camberley. The facilities available
at the Centres complement health promotion work in many settings
across in West Surrey Health Authority area.
The Centres offer free loan of videos, teaching
packs, models, leaflets, posters and books on a wide range of
health and related topics.
A catalogue is available on disk or topic based
categories and we strongly recommend that all items are previewed
before presentation. Advice is available on specific topics from
experienced health promotion specialists by appointment, at any
of the Centres.
9. CURRENT PRIORITIES
The NHS reforms allows us to respond to the
challenge of modernisation. We are committed to improving the
health of our population and reducing inequalities in health.
The Health Promotion Service is aware of the
need to keep abreast of evidence based interventions and many
of our projects reflect this learning. There is a commitment to
multidisciplinary approaches and sharing good practice. The Government's
"Saving Lives Our Healthier Nation" document reported
this aim was "to improve the health of everyone, and the
health of the worst off in particular". Our contribution
to the Health Improvement Programme reinforces this theme.
Partership work includes community development
initiatives and our contribution to North Walton, Sheerwater &
Maybury and Guildford local government Partnerships. The overriding
themes of these programmes are improving information, access and
strengthening local community action.
Work with vulnerable groups includes innovative
programmes with people with learning disabilities, ethnic groups,
gay community etc. We represent the Health Authority by contributing
to strategy and policy work including domestic violence, drug,
youth and safer communities strategies. Key areas such as coronary
heart disease and stroke, cancer, mental health and accident prevention
are targeted for action. Sexual health and substance misuse are
also included as important areas for development.
Two major strategic profiles were submitted
to the Government, namely on Teenage Pregnancy and Smoking this
year and we were pleased with the national and local attention
given to these two issues. Our work with Primary Care Groups colleagues
is gaining momentumparticularly due to the national and
local priorities on smoking, teenage pregnancy, falls and older
people and drugs.
The Health Promoting Schools initiative has
grown and is in its seventh year. It has now been made a national
priority and some funding has been allocated to develop a national
healthy schools standard. The scheme has proved to be successful
in promoting good practice in health education in schools. Our
Health Education Research Project also involves young people and
we are in our second phase of the Exeter University Health Related
Behaviour Questionnaire with nine local schools. The results are
being used to track trends and the changing needs of young people
so that appropriate intervention can be developed.
(Annual Review and other Reports can be submitted
We have a firm commitment to promote and improve
the health of people in West Surrey. It is acknowledged that social
exclusion will need to be tackledthis is a complex role
for economic, social, educational, environmental and other areas.
Many agenciespublic, private and voluntary now recognise
the need to work in partnership to meet specific challenges to
enhance the quality of people's lives.
We will need to co-ordinate performance and
build public health and health promotion professional capacity
The development of Primary Care Groups (PCGs)
and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) presents a key challenge to public
health and health promotion. The role of Trusts include: Commissioning
effective services, promoting and improving the health of communities
and developing effective working partnerships. Public Health departments
and specialist health promotion service will play a key role in
enabling PCGs/PCTs to carry out their public health function.
West Surrey Health Authority has developed many
partnerships and specialists in health promotion have been involved
in developing the Health Improvement Plan, Healthy Living Centre
initiatives and community programmes. The development of Walk
in Centres, NHS Direct, Internet etc, means the public has more
choice and health information will be more accessible. Public
Health and health promotion development, training and education
will remain a priority.
Partnership working will be significant in the
development of our health and social care systems. We must focus
upstream on the causes of poor health and inequalitiesas
well as downstream at the behavioural and other risk factors for
major killers. It will be important to engage across organisations
on all appropriate levels of decision making and include users,
carers and the public.