A selection of fruit and vegetables on a market stall. There is a variety of types and the image is very colourful. Picture by Dean Xavier
The Healthy Start scheme provides vouchers which can be used for fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, as well as milk and infant formula. Picture: Dean Xavier

New plan to improve health for everyone in Hull

Hull Health and Wellbeing Board has launched its new Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy. The board is a partnership of organisations around the city and is dedicated to improving health and wellbeing for local people. The strategy sets out how the board will work to level health inequalities in order to make these improvements possible.

It focusses on what the organisations on the board will do, as well as what residents can do to make things better for themselves and others. It was developed following consultation with stakeholders and is informed a set of values and priorities, as well as a vision – to create a fairer Hull, where everyone can benefit from real and sustained improvement to their health and wellbeing.

The priorities set out in the strategy are:

  • Proactive prevention – this means ensuring people have the opportunities and support to make healthy and informed choices. Early help, intervention, education and fair allocation of resources will all be part of this
  • Reducing health inequalities – health inequalities are not the fault of individuals. Work in this area will identify groups and areas most affected by health inequalities and working to close that gap
  • System integration – this means organisations and support services throughout the city working together purposefully and effectively to improve health.

Cllr Hester Bridges, Deputy Leader and Chair of the Hull Health and Wellbeing board, said: “The strategy is essential to improve health and wellbeing for the people of Hull, in their daily lives and in terms of how services are delivered. It builds on work to identify exactly where the inequalities are in Hull, what we need to do to address them, and the help and support people need in order to have better health.

“Health inequalities are never the fault of the individual. They are the result of widespread systemic inequity, across social, financial and environmental factors.  These inequalities need to be addressed in order for people to be able to be healthier and have longer, healthier lives .

“The strategy reflects the needs of our city and provides us with a framework to build on our existing  work in order to make sure every person in this city benefits from better health. The focus is on mental health as much as physical, as the two are intrinsically linked.

“One of the most crucial elements of our work will be community engagement. We can’t do this effectively without working with our communities every step of the way, engaging with people in Hull about their needs, barriers and health ambitions. This will be particularly important as we emerge from the pandemic. We already know Coronavirus has exacerbated the gap in inequalities and as we move forward it will be important to understand how people’s day-to-day lives have been affected and changed.

“As part of this, we’re inviting every person in the city to create their own pledge using their social media accounts and our hashtag #MyHealthyHull for how they will improve their own health and wellbeing, or help someone else to do that. They only need to be a sentence – it could be something like walking more or learning a new healthy meal to make. Making a pledge can help as it gives you a goal to work towards. It also helps us, as by collating the pledges, we can find out things people want to change or improve”.

Read a summary of the strategy here: https://www.hull.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/policies-and-plans/health-and-wellbeing-strategy-2022

Make a pledge and read others’ pledges here on your own Twitter or Instagram account, using #MyHealthyHull.