Health and wellbeing strategy for St Albans updated

PUBLISHED: 13:44 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:46 04 February 2020

St Albans's health and wellbeing strategy has been updated. Picture: St Albans district council

St Albans's health and wellbeing strategy has been updated. Picture: St Albans district council

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A strategy for improving the health and wellbeing of people living in St Albans district has been updated to take account of new projects and initiatives.

The strategy launched two years ago, and the St Albans Healthy Hub, which is funded by Herts county council and located within the district council offices, opened last year.

Groups based there, including Mind In Mid Herts, Age UK, the Living Room and more, offer residents advice on how to boost their physical and mental health. This month the hub also launched free mini health MOTs, provided by leisure contractor 1Life.

The strategy is the first of its kind, and was launched two years ago by the St Albans District Health and Wellbeing Partnership. The partnership is made up of the council and other organisations including Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and St Albans and Harpenden Patient Group.

Its aims are to encourage healthy lifestyles and reduce health inequalities, with equal weight given to physical and mental health.

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Council officers and volunteers representing the public health working group worked on the revised strategy, and formalised in a meeting on Wednesday, January 28.

A 20-page document is available to view on the council's website containing the latest data about health in the district - for example showing that 48.9 per cent of the district's residents are overweight.

The strategy also details the partnership's long-term goals, which include making the district more dementia-friendly and reducing social isolation and loneliness.

Cllr Robert Donald, chair of the partnership and the public health working group, said: "While we live in a relatively healthy district with activity levels and rates of early death from cancer and heart disease better than national averages, we are not complacent and know improvements can be made.

"For example, the number of adults overweight and obese has only fallen by less than one per cent year on year, and in year six children it has actually increased by 0.2 per cent.

"Mental health and reversing the current rise in suicides locally are also both areas of concern addressed in the new strategy.

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