Purpose of report
Report by Dr Jason Horsley, Director of Public Health, to propose to the Health and Wellbeing Board the process for refreshing the Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Portsmouth.
RECOMMENDED The Health and Wellbeing Board is recommended to:
a. Comment on the proposed principles, objectives and focus areas set out in section
b. Agree the proposals for next steps set out in section
(TAKE IN REPORT)
Dr Jason Horsley introduced the report advising that his view is that broadly the main health problems in the city are understood. He said that there is a statutory duty on local Health and Wellbeing Boards to produce a strategy for the health and wellbeing of their population. Portsmouth's current strategy runs from 2014 to 2017 so it is now necessary to consider how this needs to be refreshed. Members of the Health & Wellbeing Board were invited to comment on the proposed principles, objectives and focus areas set out in the report and to agree the proposals for next steps. During discussion the following matters were raised:
· With regard to E-cigarettes, a query was raised about whether there would be a move to offer free E-cigarettes in order to get people off ordinary cigarettes. Dr Horsley said that this was hard to do because E-cigarettes did not come within the definition of 'medication'. There are also difficult ethical considerations. Manufacturers of E cigarettes do not seem to have sought a licence on the grounds that E-cigarettes stop people smoking ordinary cigarettes. In addition there is a problem about whether funding E-cigarettes would also fund the tobacco companies who make E-cigarettes as well as producing ordinary cigarettes. Dr Horsley also said that First Generation E-cigarettes were not the latest ones and safety advice was not very recent. The later versions produce more heat and so potentially are more dangerous. Also the long-term effects of smoking E- cigarettes are not very clear.
· With regard to reducing the harms from alcohol and other substance misuse, members were advised that there is a move to push for a minimum unit price for alcohol to be in place nationally. If this is not possible then perhaps a voluntary minimum unit price could be introduced in the city. Evidence shows that this is an effective way of reducing alcohol consumption. However, voluntary agreements are not enforceable. Some members disagreed with a minimum pricing policy for alcohol as this could be seen to be unfair to responsible consumers.
Dr Horsley said that there was a need to be realistic about what the Health & Wellbeing Board can achieve. There was a need to make sure that the strategy is deliverable when factoring in day-to-day business. He said that subject to the comments of the Health & Wellbeing Board, it is proposed to work up a draft of the strategy and bring this to the next Health & Wellbeing Board in September 2017. This would enable the Health & Wellbeing Board to agree their new strategy for recommendation for adoption to the relevant boards before March 2018. He said that alongside the development of the strategy it would be necessary to develop a high level action plan and an associated work programme for the Health & Wellbeing Board including consideration of the wider determinant where work is led through other partnerships.
RESOLVED that the Health & Wellbeing Board:
(i) Commented on the proposed principles, objectives and focus areas set out in Section 8 of the report.
(ii) Agreed the proposals for next steps.