Press Releases week beginning 01 July 2019
East Sussex colleagues welcome Professor Chris Whitty
Health bosses in East Sussex highlighted challenges and showcased successes when they welcomed a leading government adviser to Hastings.
Professor Chris Whitty, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health and Social Care and National Institute for Health Research lead, visited the borough as part of a countrywide tour of local authorities to hear how residents' health and wellbeing could benefit from research opportunities.
The visit was organised by Public Health at East Sussex County Council in partnership with Hastings Borough Council, Hastings and Rother CCG and Hastings Voluntary Action, and comes before Professor Whitty takes on a new role as Chief Medical Officer for England and the UK government's Chief Medical Adviser in October.
Welcoming the visit, Darrell Gale, director of public health at East Sussex County Council, said: "Health outcomes for the people of Hastings and Saint Leonard's are often poorer than in the rest of Sussex and the South East, yet there are great examples of community action and agencies working together in the town.
"This visit helped to shine a light on the many positive achievements over the years, whilst clearly focusing on the need to develop sustainable approaches to improving health for all in the town."
The visit concentrated on the work being done by partners to improve the health and wellbeing of residents by focusing on personal and community resilience and reducing health inequalities, including;
- The chances 4 Change programme which supports charities, community groups and individuals to make the most of their community assets
- An integrated healthy lifestyle service which offers tailored, evidence based support to enable individuals to make changes to the lifestyle health behaviours
- The Healthy Hastings and Rother programme which uses insight of individuals and communities to better understand how access to health and other services can be improved for those with the poorest health
Dr David Warden, chair of NHS Hastings and Rother CCG and Richard Watson, health inequalities manager for the CCG, added: "We are proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to Professor Whitty's visit and share the impact and learning from Healthy Hastings and Rother with him and his team. The NHS, along with many partner organisations, is working to improve local services for those with the poorest health in our most disadvantaged communities and together we have made some real progress to address health inequality in Hastings.
"The NHS Long Term Plan commits the NHS to a greater focus on prevention and reducing health inequalities and we will continue to work tirelessly with local people, communities and partners to support people to live healthier and happier lives."
With almost one three Hastings residents living in an area among the most deprived in England and with male life expectancy among the lowest in the country, it is hoped that further research could result in greater opportunities to address health inequalities in the area.
Cllr Kim Forward, Hastings Borough Council's lead councillor for regeneration, said: "The needs of seaside communities is well known; we are very pleased Prof Whitty visited Hastings with his team to learn first-hand the challenges faced by residents of Hastings to improve their lives and wellbeing.
"We also appreciate the areas he chose to visit and the time he spent talking directly to many of the local organisations supporting our residents to lift themselves out of poverty and poor health. We believe this is achievable and sustainable through longer strategic programmes."
Speaking after his visit Professor Whitty said: "As many health issues are linked to lifestyle, it has been very interesting to hear about the really impressive work in Hastings to change behaviours through evidence-based personalised approaches. Like many parts of the country, health inequalities are an issue for the people of Hastings and research will help overcome the challenges they pose."
Following Professor Whitty's visit, a meeting will be held between Public Health, partner organisations and elected members for the wards visited during the day. The aim of the meeting will be to agree the next steps and to ensure that partners gain from working ever closer together.
The St Leonards Festival, held last Saturday (29th June), was a great success, with thousands of people packing into Kings Road and Warrior Square.
Cllr Kim Forward, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council and lead member for tourism, explained :- "I am delighted that the council is still able to support this fabulous festival. It attracted thousands of residents and visitors on Saturday, on the hottest day of the year!
"The weather was a bonus, and allowed us all to enjoy the day long activities in Warrior Square, and street market in Kings Road, right in the heart of St Leonards.
"A huge amount of work went into making the festival such a success. I'd like to thank 18 Hours, who organised it on behalf of the local community and the council, and the many community volunteers who helped them, both in advance and on the (very long!) day of the festival itself.
"We are rightly proud of our many events in town, long may they continue, to the delight of our local community and our visitors."
New waste services launch
On Saturday 29 June Hastings Borough Council's new waste and street cleaning services launched, following the ending of the Kier contract.
The council now directly provides the town's street cleaning services, such as clearing litter and removing fly tips and dog fouling.
Street cleaning in Hastings will be run differently with more emphasis on emptying litter bins and more staff on the streets. Weed clearance on the town's roads will be the responsibility of East Sussex County Council.
Biffa has taken over the collection of the town's household waste, recycling and garden waste in their distinctive white and red lorries.
As part of the changes residents no longer need to separate recyclable glass bottles and jars into their black box. They can now place them in their recycling bins or pink sacks along with other recyclable materials, including paper, cardboard and cans. Cartons lined with plastic or foil, such as Tetra Pak, can't be recycled and need to be placed in with general household waste.
Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for the environment said:
"Although there may be some teething problems during the changeover, as these new services bed in, we are excited about the new waste service and look to see improvements over the coming weeks.
Residents have a role to play in helping make the new services a success by reporting waste, recycling and street cleaning issues to the council on my.hastings.gov.uk. This information will assist us to deliver these services more effectively."
Mayor of Hastings launches Hastings to Edinburgh charity cycle ride
From the germ of an idea two years ago, on 1 July the Mayor of Hastings launched the Hastings to Edinburgh cycle ride to raise awareness and funds for the charity Freedom from Torture, which is dedicated to healing and protecting people who have survived torture.
Two intrepid women - Moira and Shelagh - will do the whole ride in 19 stages, with others joining for 1 or more stages. Before they set off on the first stage, the Mayor said "Thank you for what you are doing and why you are doing it".
Councillor Leah Levane chairs the East Sussex Group that works to support the vital work done by groups such as these. A small fundraising event at her house the night before the launch of the ride, raised £205.00.
If you are able to donate, please do so via: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/CAT2019.