New healthy lifestyle service for Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire County Council is planning to change the way support is delivered for healthy lifestyles, helping people to stay fit and well for longer.
The council provides support with prevention and management of unhealthy lifestyle behaviours: smoking, physical inactivity, excess alcohol consumption, and poor diet, which is linked, along with inactive lifestyles, to overweight and obesity.
Helping people stay healthy or get healthier is the best way to prevent problems later in life and the council is keen to support people to stay fit and independent as they age.
A 12-week public consultation took place from December 2015 to March 2016 to find out what people think are important for the council to take into consideration in planning future provision.
Of 391 respondents to the survey, there was general support for the principles that were proposed:
- More emphasis on helping people to help themselves to live a healthy lifestyle e.g. by providing self-help tools
- More emphasis on helping to prevent people from taking up an unhealthy lifestyle in the first place
- More intensive support prioritised for those in greatest need and those who are less able to help themselves
- Lifestyles information and support available across other services, for example, maternity and family support services
- Next week, cabinet will be asked to allow a tendering process for a new service which is focussed on helping the council achieve the principles agreed in the consultation.
- The contract, which will be for up to seven years is worth a total estimate of £12.5million and will set out the way that the council aims to ensure local people have access to information and support to enable them to live a healthy lifestyle.
- Subject to cabinet approval, the council will invite organisations to put forward their bids in early June 2016. A recommendation to award the contract will be made in September 2016, with the service to begin in January 2017.
Sarah Scott, director of public health, said: "We've listened to what people told us in the consultation and designed a new service, which will help the council to offer those most in need access to support across a range of lifestyles.
"By providing people with the information and support they need to make lifestyle changes, we aim to improve the overall health of the county, particularly among those groups of the population who tend to have the poorest health."