Our prevention workstream is led by the two Directors of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, Kent County Council, and James Williams, Medway Council. Its vision is for care to shift from looking after people when they fall ill or lose their ability to live independently to supporting people to stay well in body and mind.
Evidence-led prevention interventions will be built into the whole health and care system. Placing an emphasis on improving the health of the population of Kent and Medway will help to reduce health inequalities and mean local people will have longer and healthier lives.
James Williams, Director of Public Health at Medway Council says:
“Tobacco addiction, being physically inactive, drinking alcohol to an excess, eating foods high in sugar and fat and being excessively overweight, can lead to early death and disability. This is because these negative lifestyle choices make it more likely we will have a stroke, develop heart disease, diabetes, cancer and lung diseases.
Although these issues can affect anyone, we know that people in our more disadvantaged communities are at greatest risk.
We want everyone in Kent and Medway – professionals, the public and patients – to take action to improve health and wellbeing locally.
Small changes can make a big difference. Being physically active, eating more fruit and vegetables, not smoking and if we drink alcohol, doing so in moderation, can add years to your life and help improve mental wellbeing. We know it’s not always easy to change the habits of a lifetime . That’s why it is so important we work together as a whole community to bring about this shift.”
The aims of the prevention workstream are to:
- ensure that preventing illness is at the forefront of local policy planning and commissioning of all clinical pathways across Kent and Medway
- support people to increase their sense of control and resilience in their lives
- take action to tackle specific challenges to population health and wellbeing
- promote action that will help people with long term health conditions to be able to self-manage. This will enable individuals to be more independent and prevent or reduce the need for health and care services
- prevent or reduce the need for health and care services
- reduce health inequalities across Kent and Medway.
The prevention workstream’s priorities for this year are preventing heart attacks, strokes and lung cancer, by targeting their risk factors, including smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.