Glasgow's Centre for Population Health received royal interest this week when HRH Prince Charles met with representatives of the three organisations behind the centre.
At a private meeting in Glasgow's City Chambers, His Royal Highness heard about the work of the Centre from Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm and representatives from NHS Greater Glasgow, Glasgow City Council and the University of Glasgow*.
The Centre for Population Health is a new initiative set up by NHS Greater Glasgow in partnership with Glasgow City Council and the University of Glasgow. Its specific remit is to examine in closer detail the reasons why health in Glasgow is not improving as quickly as elsewhere.
As well as trying to understand better what creates health in a city, the new Centre for Population Health will also work on new ways to narrow the health gap between Glasgow and the rest of Scotland.
Health and Community Care Minister, Malcolm Chisholm said: "Glasgow's reputation as being the unhealthiest city in the unhealthiest nation in Europe is well known. The local council and NHS Board have taken progressive and innovative steps over the past few years to improve health in general terms. But closing the gap between rich and poor is an enormous challenge.
"The main objective of the Centre for Population Health is to create and test new models for understanding the patterns and causes of the ongoing poor health record. It will also identify potential solutions and actions for improvement - which will in time have a beneficial effect across Scotland."
"This unique alliance between NHS Greater Glasgow, Glasgow City Council and researchers from the University of Glasgow is already delivering new possibilities that in the future, we will be able to report significant improvements in the health of Glaswegians in the years ahead."
"To shake off the reputation Glasgow and the West of Scotland have as being one of the unhealthiest areas of Europe, we first must understand the complexity of the problems. That's where the Centre for Population Health comes in. It aims to help us better understand why Glasgow continues to have a poor health record and provides us with a focus for new thinking on the whole subject of population health.
Sir John Arbuthnott, chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow said: "I welcome the interest of His Royal Highness Prince Charles in this innovative research and development programme that will be taken forward by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health.
Professor Phil Hanlon from the University of Glasgow said: "In his charitable work, Prince Charles has shown an appreciation of the fact that people are more than complicated machines that develop faults. We are each complex individuals with emotional, social and physical needs. This is also the perspective of the new Glasgow Centre for Population Health. We will try to find ways of engaging with the whole person to find new ways of healing a spectrum of health problems in Glasgow that have been many generations in the making."
Councillor Jim Coleman from Glasgow City Council said: ""Glasgow City Council has been working closely with its partners to establish the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. The Council welcomes the opportunity to enhance the city's work for health improvement and to learn more about the underlying causes of poor health in Glasgow. This Centre will give our city a resource of national and international standing to tackle the health challenges which we all face."
NOTES TO EDITORS:
*Representatives from the three organisations: Sir John Arbuthnott (chair of NHS Greater Glasgow), Dr Harry Burns (Director of Public Health, NHS Greater Glasgow), Dr Carol Tannahill (Centre for Population Health Manager), Councillor Jim Coleman (deputy leader of Glasgow City Council and NHS Greater Glasgow board member), Councillor Bill Timoney (Glasgow City Council spokesman on health), Professor Phil Hanlon (Professor of Public Health at the University of Glasgow) and Dr Carol Craig (author of The Scots Crisis of Confidence).
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