Consultation launched on Community Development Strategy - your views matter
Issued jointly by the Health and Social Care Board and Public Health Agency
The Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency have today launched, for public consultation, a new Community Development Strategy.
The consultation period will run for 12 weeks from Friday 10 June until Friday 2 September 2011.
The Board and Agency want to see strong, resilient communities where everyone has good health and wellbeing, places where people look out for each other and have community pride in where they live.
Residents from deprived areas in Northern Ireland experience;
- lower life expectancy;
- higher rates of emergency admission to hospital;
- higher rates of lung cancer;
- higher rates of suicide; and
- higher rates of smoking and alcohol related deaths.
The kinds of health and social care issues which can be improved by community development approaches include depression; isolation; falls amongst elderly people; child protection; teenage pregnancy; childhood asthma; postnatal depression; drug and alcohol abuse; and ultimately also long term conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.
The Board and Agency seek a number of benefits from implementing this strategy such as; a reduction in health and wellbeing inequalities, which also means addressing the social factors that affect health; strengthening partnership working with service users, the community and voluntary sectors and other organisations; strengthening families and communities; supporting volunteering and making best use of our resources.
John Compton, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board said: “Community development is an important way to improving health and wellbeing - driving a message that ‘prevention is better than cure’ between different groups and communities, and helping to ensure the most effective use of the health and social care budget.
“Now more than ever we need to work in partnership with families and communities to achieve better health and wellbeing for those living in Northern Ireland. No one organisation can meet this challenge on its own and strong partnerships are needed. ”
Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency, Eddie Rooney added: “Every health and social care organisation should incorporate a community development approach into their programmes, and this strategy assists them to do so.
“The Board and Agency have jointly held pre-consultation workshops over the past few months across Northern Ireland on their Community Development Strategy and have engaged widely with the community and voluntary sectors. We are now keen to receive feedback from individuals, families and the wider community as your views are very important to us – they will help shape the future of community development across the province,” he said.
The draft Community Development Strategy, as well as information on how you can respond, can be found in the attachments below.
For further information on the consultation please contact Martin O’Neill, Health and Social Care Board, on (028) 3741 4615 or Caroline Bloomfield, Public Health Agency, on (028) 9031 1611.
For press enquiries contact: Shirlie Murtagh, PR Officer on 028 3741 4531 or 07792 947733.