To present Solihull’s Health Inequalities Strategy, called, “Tackling health inequalities: a blueprint for Solihull 2022-2025” for content sign-off.
Neeraj Malhotra, Deputy Director of Public Health, presented Solihull’s Health Inequalities Strategy to the Board, for content sign-off. The points detailed included the following:
· The Strategy included a section titled ‘Working with others’ which set out how BSol ICS was a key partner in shaping and implementing this Strategy. The Strategy would support the eight urgent actions the NHS had set itself nationally to address health inequalities, as well as focusing on local needs.
· Following previous reporting to the Board, a public consultation on this Strategy was held. The feedback demonstrated overwhelming support for the strategy aims, principles and priorities. The covering report also set out how the final Strategy wording had been revised in response to the feedback.
Members raised the following questions:
· Councillor Grinsell welcomed the Strategy and noted the next steps would include the development of action plans to support delivery of this Strategy – she requested for this to be reported to future Board meetings. Councillor Grinsell also queried how the Strategy would be communicated and made visible to ensure awareness.
· Neeraj Malhotra explained how a communications plan was being developed to support awareness of the Strategy. She also detailed how there would be engagement with local communities in the development of action plans. Draft action plans were already being developed, aligned to the 4 priorities set out in the Strategy, as well as the 3 enablers to support delivery.
· Fiona Hughes also welcomed the development of the Strategy – she detailed how, as an agency that supported one of the underlying determinants of health, SCH was using the Strategy to identify how they could actively contribute towards a reduction in inequalities.
· Councillor Sexton flagged up Enabler 2 – Place-Based Working, which detailed how GP surgeries in North Solihull had 34% more patients per GP, compared to the rest of the Borough. She queried the measures that could be undertaken to help address this.
· David Melbourne explained how across Birmingham and Solihull it was more difficult to recruit GP’s to deprived areas, noting how similar challenges were experienced in parts of East Birmingham. It was emphasised how these challenges were experienced nationally. He highlighted the findings of the Fuller Review of Primary Care, which included recommendations on recruiting a range of professionals that could provide support, alongside GP access.
· Councillor Sexton queried the engagement of hard to reach groups, to support the delivery of the Strategy.
· Neeraj Malhotra explained it would be a mixture of using established links, local community leaders, alongside exploring further opportunities. It was detailed how there was a lot of learning from Covid, which included working with Parish Councils and local voluntary groups, who had an in-depth understanding of their local areas.
The Health and Wellbeing Board:
(i) Approved the Strategy content ahead of further design work and publishing on the SMBC website.
(ii) Supported the development of a communications plan to support awareness of the Strategy; and
(iii) Agreed to receive future reporting on the action plans, which will support the delivery of the Strategy.