HEA1 (PP) - Addressing health inequalities, improving health literacy

This policy is part of the Plymouth Plan which was approved by Plymouth City Council Full councillors on 27/02/2017.

The City will reduce health inequalities and improve health literacy across all communities, identities and geographies, and improve health and wellbeing in Plymouth by addressing its wider determinants. It will focus on the promotion of good health and wellbeing and the prevention of ill health, and will support people and their communities to gain the appropriate skills, knowledge, understanding and confidence to make choices that benefit their physical, mental and emotional health. It will achieve this by:

  1. Prioritising the promotion of health-enabling lifestyle choices and early detection of the health conditions most strongly related to health inequalities, namely;
      1. Encouraging a smoke-free Plymouth where future generations are protected from tobacco related harm and live longer and healthier lives. This includes reducing the demand for and restricting the supply of illegal tobacco.
      2. Reducing alcohol-related harm in Plymouth by providing support for children, young people, families and individuals who need it, and reducing the access and availability of alcohol to those most vulnerable.
      3. Changing attitudes towards alcohol by shifting the focus of the night time economy towards more cultural and sporting activities to create a safer more vibrant Plymouth.
      4. Promoting healthy weight and ensuring effective prevention, identification, early intervention and management of obesity in children and adults.
      5. Increasing everyday activity and participation of all sectors of the community in active lifestyles.
      6. Securing improvements in the oral health of both children and adults through innovative, evidence-based, city-wide programmes targeted at those communities in greatest need.
  2. Working to improve health literacy so that people can increase their health knowledge, build their confidence to assess health information in order to make judgements and take decisions about their health and wellbeing in everyday life.
  3. Working to prevent people misusing substances whilst ensuring that services focus on prevention and recovery from substance misuse.
  4. Promoting mental wellbeing, resilience and improved quality of life through improving the range of and access to mental health and early intervention services, integrating physical and mental health care and becoming a Dementia Friendly City. We will continue to promote the five ways to wellbeing – Connect, Learn, Be Active, Notice and Give, and recognise the lifelong impacts of adverse experiences and traumas.
  5. Supporting healthy eating and improving access to good food through:
      1. Promoting access to food growing opportunities and allotments.
      1. Ensuring access to healthy catering at sporting, leisure and cultural facilities and events across the city.
      2. Using planning powers to protect the food environment within a 400 metre radius of providers of secondary education.  
      3. Promoting and supporting breastfeeding and ensuring that all children get the very best nutritional start throughout the city
  6. Supporting and sustaining a vibrant leisure and sports sector and creating excellent opportunities for physical activity through:
      1. Delivering programmes that realise the benefits of physical activity in its broadest sense, including walking, cycling and sporting opportunities and through providing pleasant and secure environments for active travel and improved opportunities for all sectors of the community.
      2. Using planning powers to safeguard the city's facilities that support opportunities for physical activity and active leisure and sport.
  7. The establishment of Wellbeing Hubs across the city as a network of integrated resources working together to enable and support people in the local community to live independently and make life choices that will improve their health and wellbeing.  The Hubs will be underpinned by a comprehensive social prescribing service, supporting people identified as in need to access the right support for them.