On Monday 23 May 2016 the Health Committee visited Coventry City Council in connection with their inquiry into public health. The following Members and staff attended:
Dr Sarah Wollaston (Chair); Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw; Julie Cooper; Dr James Davies; Emma Reynolds; Paula Sherriff; Maggie Throup; Helen Whately; Dr Philippa Whitford
Huw Yardley, Clerk; Laura Daniels, Committee Specialist; Victoria Carpenter, Committee Assistant
The Committee were generously welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Coventry Councillor Lindsley Harvard, Cabinet Member for Public Health Councillor Kamran Caan, the Chief Executive Dr Martin Reeves and the Director of Public Health Dr Jane Moore. The Committee are extremely grateful to them for this welcome and for their time, and also, in particular, to the many other members of Coventry City Council’s staff, service providers, and service users, who very kindly gave their time and expertise to help the Committee understand in more detail the work being undertaken there to improve public health and tackle health inequalities.
Coventry City Council’s population has a health record that is generally worse than the England average. Deprivation is higher than average and around a quarter of children live in poverty. The Council became a Marmot City in 2013 committed to implementing the six policy objectives of the Marmot report on health inequalities. The transfer of public health services to local government in 2013 provided Coventry with an opportunity to continue to broaden the ownership of the health inequalities agenda. Coventry committed to delivering rapid change in health inequalities by 2015 and was one of seven cities in the UK invited to participate in the UK Marmot Network and become a Marmot City.
Being a Marmot City has brought together partners from different parts of the Council and from other public sector and voluntary organisations whose decisions and activities have an impact on health. The Marmot principles have all been embedded into the core functions of the Council and its partners. Improving health and reducing inequalities in Coventry is not only a priority for the NHS and public health – it is a priority for everyone who is working to improve the lives of people in the city.
In keeping with the Marmot principles, the Council is pioneering an approach to Health in All Policies (HiAP) which the Finnish government invented some years ago and which is at the centre of WHO Europe’s health strategy Health 2020 to which all 53 member States, including the UK, are signatories. The HiAP initiative in Coventry has the support of the LGA, PHE and ADPH.
Since Coventry became a Marmot City there has been progress in outcomes across health and across society. There have been improvements in school readiness at age 5, health outcomes, life satisfaction, employment and reductions in crime in priority locations. A number of innovative projects and initiatives have been set up which are starting to yield positive results for the people of Coventry. Information on progress towards improving outcomes in Coventry is available here: .
Who the Committee met and what they heard about
The Committee were initially welcomed by a variety people involved in health and wellbeing in Coventry, including Members, the Chief Executive, the Executive Director for People, the Director of Public Health, Coventry & Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group, the Police Service, and the Fire Service. The Committee then visited the following initatives:
30 August 2016