A top health boss has praised innovative projects that are transforming people’s health here in St Helens.
Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie visited the borough last week to find out more about how St Helens Cares is leading the way in integrating health and social care to make a positive difference to residents lives.
Mr Selbie highlighted the work being done by St Helens Council, St Helens CCG and its partners put’s ‘people at the centre of all services here’.
Among the projects he saw were the Smokefree St Helens Hub and the Recovery Landing programme at The Salvation Army’s Salisbury House Lifehouse, which helps people with drug and alcohol dependency issues in partnership with CGL (Change Grow Live).
The Smokefree St Helens Hub is a place where anyone can walk in and get a range of support options to help quit smoking for good. But it is not just stop smoking services that are on offer as there is also the opportunity to have a mini health check and help on a wide range of topics that could impact on someone’s health.
Recovery Landing is a new programme at The Salvation Army’s Salisbury House Lifehouse, which is a suite of five rooms dedicated to those residents who are in recovery from their addiction and gives them a space to help continue their progress with wraparound support to find work, get back into education and move on to a permanent housing solution.
Councillor David Baines, leader of St Helens Labour Group, said: “We were delighted to welcome Duncan to St Helens and to show him the fantastic work that we do here. He was clearly impressed by the drive we have to work collaboratively with our partners through our award-winning St Helens Cares, and the impact it is already starting to have on improving health outcomes for our communities.”
After his visit Duncan said in his weekly blog: “I spent Wednesday morning in the North West with the fabulous team in St Helens, where well before the concept was included in the NHS Long Term Plan, they had enacted integrated, place-based working simply because this was the right thing to do. People are at the centre of all services here, with the clinical accountable officer for the CCG also the Council strategic director for people. This brings together NHS commissioning with children’s and adult social care, public health and educational improvement and they have realised that by leaving organisational self-interest at the door, they can work together to win together.
“Good leadership knows that the failure of any one service would pull the others down, and in St Helens they are safeguarding against this. They have an intensely proud past in mining and glass and while their health profile reflects the loss of these industries, they are creating a new narrative and are seeing steady improvement in a number of health indicators and major new investments in jobs and homes. This is exactly the joined up, future proofing and smart working we need to encourage and support everywhere and a big well done to them for showing the way.”