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Health Trainers

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Caroline Flint): In the White Paper "Choosing Health" we announced the introduction of health trainers, a new type of personal health support in the public health workforce. From 2006 national health service accredited health trainers will be giving support to people who want it in areas of highest need.
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Many people have difficulty in changing to a healthier way of life. There is a great deal of advice and information available and exhortations to change often from distant national bodies and others, but equally often with little recognition of the realities of everyday life. There is support but it is patchy, fragmented and does not fit with their lives. It may be available at the wrong time of day or only accessible to people who speak and read English well, and access is unequal and erratic. Health trainers are designed to address these problems.

Heath trainers will be visible and accessible to local people through living and working in the communities they serve providing "support from next door". They will engage local people where they are to be found, for example, mothers at the children's centre, customers at the local pharmacy, members of the tenants' association. Their task is to motivate individuals to set personal goals for improving their health, by developing personal health plans using a core set of skills based on health psychology and a good understanding of what works. They will support people to carry out their plans, for example, accompanying a woman to a breast screening appointment; encouraging a teenage mother to go to the children's centre by arranging to meet her; planning a walking route with a 50 year old man. They will identify barriers with individuals to healthier choices and help find individual solutions by listening, empathising and sharing experiences. They will be able to "signpost" people to local services that can support their healthier choices, through their detailed knowledge of the local area. Health trainers may refer individuals on, but will also encourage, motivate and support them to use what is available, for example information about the local smoking cessation service, and then go with them to the first session.

In February the Government published the cash allocations for the NHS for 2006–07 and 2007–08 including additional cash to help to fund "Choosing Health" initiatives such as school nurses, community matrons and health trainers.

Those in greatest need were also allocated more money. In November, the Government announced the creation of 88 spearhead primary care trusts, which are those most in urgent need of action to tackle health deprivation and reduce inequalities in life expectancy and infant mortality. These areas have received a higher level of funding than other areas, making the allocation much fairer.

Primary care trusts and their partners, especially the spearhead primary care trusts, are planning to recruit, train, and fund health trainers from April 2006 when this funding comes on stream. In preparation for that I am announcing today 12 early adopter partnerships in 2005–06, led by the NHS, to develop and test elements of the recruitment. training and employment package and local models of service provision.

From September, these early adopters will begin to trial a draft set of core competencies and job descriptions prepared by my department and the sector skills council "Skills for Health". The early adopters will identify suitable local people who, for the most part are already carrying out roles with some similarity to health trainers, assess them against the competencies, provide training to address gaps and then deploy them in local communities.
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During 2005–06 we will be providing all early adopters with additional funding to support them in this work and other primary care trusts with funding support totalling £5 million. Every primary care trust which expressed an interest in being an early adopter will receive £25,000 and the early adopters themselves up to £200,000. The early adopters have been selected following expressions of interest from over 130 primary care trusts and their local partners. These are shown in the following table.
Partnership organisationNHS bodies (all PCTsexcept where shownspearhead PCTs in bold)Other Partners
Bradford DistrictBradford City, North Bradford, Airedale, South & WestBradford District Health Development Partnerships Bradford Metropolitan District Council Bradford Vision Bradford Council for Voluntary Service Keighley Voluntary Services Consortium of Ethnic Minority Organisations, Leeds Metropolitan University
Tameside & Glossop PCTTameside & Glossop PCTTameside College, Tameside 3rd Sector Coalition (local voluntary community sector organisation), vielife (limited company).
SE London Health Trainers ProgrammeSouth East London Strategic Health Authority Greenwich Teaching PCT, Lambeth PCT, Lewisham PCT, Southwark PCTSouth East London Research Support Unit / South Thames Research Network South East London Learning Alliance, London Boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich, Lambeth and Southwark Voluntary Action Lewisham, Southwark Action for voluntary organisations London Open College Network
ManchesterNorth, South & Central Manchester PCTsManchester City Council Manchester Joint Health Unit Manchester Public Health Development Services
Gateshead Health EconomyGateshead Health Trainers PartnershipGateshead Primary Care Trust including the Centre for Enabling Health Improvement Gateshead Council including the Public Service Academy Gateshead Voluntary Organisations Council Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust University of Sunderland Age Concern Gateshead College Workers Educational Association North East Change Centre National Primary Care Development Team—Healthy Communities Collaborative Innovation and Development Agency
Hull Health Trainer PartnershipEastern Hull Primary Care Trust; West Hull Primary Care Trust, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust Humber Mental Health Teaching Trust The Quays, PCT Medical Services Humber Teaching PCT consortium; Hull and York Medical School Local Medical Committee—HullCity of Hull Local Strategic Partnership;Hull City CouncilH.M. Prison Hull; University of Hull;Hull College FE; Preston Road Neighbourhood Development Company Ltd Sure Start; Goodwin Development Trust Ltd; Hull Community Network; North Bank Forum; PPI forum; Hull DOC (Developing our communities); The Warren—Young People 16–25, social exclusion; Age Concern HLC
Kirklees Council and Three PCTs Health Trainer PartnershipSouth and Central Huddersfield Kirklees Council and PCTs Health Trainer Partnership NHS: South and Central Huddersfield PCTs, North Kirklees PCTPartnership: Kirklees Council and Kirklees MC Voluntary Action Kirklees South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority & Workforce Development Confederation Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Public Health Group
BristolBristol North PCT , Bristol South and West PCTBristol City Council University of the West of England (UWE): Faculties of Health and Social Care and Applied Sciences Black Development Agency Knowle West Healthy Living Centre Hartcliffe Health and Environmental Action Group (HHEAG
Birmingham and The Black CountryBirmingham and The Black Country SHA Heart of Birmingham, Oldbury and Smethwick, Rowley Regis and Tipton, Wednesbury and West Bromwich, Walsall, Wolverhampton, North Birmingham, South Birmingham, Eastern Birmingham, Solihull, Dudley South and Dudley Castle and BeaconSport England West Midlands West Midlands Public Health Group Sure Start Friar Park & Mesty Croft Woods West Midlands Deanery Birmingham City Council
County Durham and Tees Valley Public Health NetworkCounty Durham & Tees Valley Strategic Health Authority Sedgefield, Langbaurgh, Easington, Durham Dales, Darlington, Durham and Chester le Street, Derwentside, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, North Tees
Derbyshire LAA PartnershipNorth Eastern Derbyshire, Chesterfield, High Peak and Dales, Amber Valley, Erewash , Derbyshire Dales and South DerbyshireDerbyshire County Council, Sheffield Hallam University, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, North Derbyshire Health Promotion Service
Northumberland, Tyne & Wear Public Health NetworkNewcastle Primary Care Trust, North Tyneside Primary Care Trust, South Tyneside Primary Care Trust, Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust, Northumberland Care TrustGateshead Community Work Assessment Consortium North East Northumbria University Primary Care Development Centre

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NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency: Annual Report and Accounts

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Jane Kennedy): The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency's annual report and accounts has been published today and copies have been placed in the Library.

Sexual Health and HIV (Select Committee Report)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Caroline Flint): The Government's response to the Third Report of the House of Commons Health Select Committee, on New Developments in Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Policy, Cm 6649, has been published today.

Copies have been placed in the Library.

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