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IMPROVING THE HEALTH OF GREATER GLASGOW'S POPULATION

March 11, 2004 2:57 PM

The latest studies of the health of the constituencies in Scotland has flagged up concerns that the health/poverty divide is not narrowing, particularly in some areas of Greater Glasgow.

NHS Greater Glasgow is committed to improve the health of the people of Greater Glasgow.

Dr Harry Burns, Director of Public Health for NHS Greater Glasgow, said: "These profiles flag up the real need for radical thinking to improve the health of the most disadvantaged people in our communities.

"There is evidence that health is improving in Greater Glasgow, but not improving quickly enough. The rate of the improvement is particularly disappointing in the more deprived parts of the city. We really need to examine how we can continue to best deliver services to help speed up the health agenda.  Part of this will be through the new Community Health Partnerships and the Centre for Population Health."

Dr Burns revealed that NHS Greater Glasgow had, over the past few years, been developing a range of innovative projects that are already proving both popular and beneficial to the people who use them.

These include:

  • the ongoing development of 11 healthy living centres;
  • supporting more than 60 voluntary and community organisations who are our partners in health;
  • the rolling out of an initiative which sees the provision of a welfare benefits services in a range of local health centres and other health sites;
  • the development of our Centre for Population Health which aims to find out the causes behind Glasgow's poor health and establish new, innovative ways of improving health.

NHS Greater Glasgow has been very active in a number of key health areas.

Through our Tobacco Strategy, we've set up the Fresh Start Community Pharmacy scheme which gives smokers the chance to get help giving up via a stop smoking service given by 120 participating pharmacies across the city.  There are also stop smoking groups which have been set up in every LHCC in Greater Glasgow.

Educating our children and young people about smoking is a key part of our stop smoking campaign and we've developed a Glasgow's Health curriculum resource for use in primary schools.  We've also developed tobacco teaching materials aimed at Primary 5,6 and 7 children to support the Smoke Free Me programme.  All secondary pupils in Greater Glasgow will also be invited to take part in the Smoke Free Class competition which encourages First Year pupils to remain smoke free.

 For diet and exercise, NHS Greater Glasgow has been working with local authorities and other partners to successfully introduce:

  • fruit in schools to all children in pre-school nursery and primary schools
  • water in schools
  • healthier school meals
  • initiatives such as weaning fairs and milk token schemes
  • the GP exercise referral scheme
  • a multi-agency physical activity strategy
  • free swimming for young people and over 60s
  • Glasgow city health walks

Other successes include our breastfeeding strategy, the continued development of Starting Well (which helps families in deprived areas), Working for Health (which helps train unemployed people for work within the Health Service), a pilot project in Pollok (which sees GPs encouraging patients to take up learning and employment opportunities) and our continued active participation in the Glasgow Welfare to Work forum.

ENDS

 Media Inquiries: Dawn Nelson on 0141 201 4912

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