Report of the Corporate Director of Adult and Health Services and the Director of Public Health, Durham County Council.
The Board received a report and presentation of the Corporate Director of Adult and Health Services and the Director of Public Health on Health Needs Assessment – Aging Well, presented by the Specialty Registrar in Public Health, Rebekka Shenfine (for copy see file of minutes).
The Specialty Registrar noted the key findings from the Health Needs Assessment (HNA) that was undertaken to identify health needs of those aged over 50 living in County Durham. It was noted that older age was generally considered to be from age 65, however, by looking from 50 years of age enabled a more preventative approach. It was explained that as people lived into older age, they were more likely to develop long term conditions and become frail. Key findings were:
· Information and Advice - availability of information and alternative information formats.
· Transport - Accessibility of information and services especially those living in rural areas.
· Respect and Social Isolation - importance of viewing ageing in a positive light, and the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
· Social participation - role of co-production, intergenerational activity, volunteering and health literacy.
· Housing and neighbourhoods - availability of suitable local housing close to family members, specific support for older tenants.
· Outdoor spaces and buildings - importance of making outdoor spaces and buildings ‘age-friendly, combatting anti-social behaviour, climate change effects on older people.
· Economic activity and civil engagement - effects of the rising costs of living and fuel poverty, age-friendly employment opportunities.
· Health and wellbeing - helping people with long-term conditions to live their lives in better health and the need for services (e.g. sexual health, stop smoking and domestic violence) to meet the needs of people aged over 50.
It was noted that the recommendations from the HNA enabled system-wide partners to consider a range of approaches to ensure that as people age, they could live healthier lives for longer. The recommendations were:
a) Implement an Ageing Well Strategic Group representing all system partners alongside an affiliated action plan.
b) The Ageing Well Action Plan should work to reduce ageism and stigmatisation towards older people.
c) Recognise areas highlighted, but not specifically targeted, with in this HNA that may require further bespoke work.
d) Increase availability of data at the 50 plus age-group level
e) Develop Public Health Guidance on key areas identified within the HNA to consider under the Age Section on any equality impact assessments, or comprehensive assessments undertaken across the wider system.
It was noted the list of recommendations would inform an Ageing Well Strategy and subsequent Action Plan to support residents to live happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.
The Chair thanked the Specialty Registrar and asked the Board for any comments or questions.
The Corporate Director of Adult and Health Services noted the findings were very important and that the 50 years old plus age group, who had not been focussed upon previously, would help in terms of prevention. The Speciality Registrar noted it was a key area, however, highlighted the difficulty in finding data for that age group, with most data being for either 60 or 65 years old plus.
The Chair noted not all were able to access information digitally and asked how local people would be involved in developing the Ageing Well Strategy to ensure the experiences and needs were taken into account. The Speciality Registrar noted that in the initial stages remote working had been in effect, however, the County Durham Together was now being used, with the Ageing Well Steering Group.
D Gardner noted a number of the recommendations were in broader ‘civic responsibility’, for example transport, and asked how the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Steering Group would influence such areas.
The Speciality Registrar noted this was an area to be looked at further and explained that the Ageing Well Steering Group included a number of relevant partners. It was noted that the Ageing Well Steering Group would report the Health and Wellbeing Board.
She added the Group would meet in December to look at membership and representation, and also processes to feed out information and actions.
The Chair asked as regards any help to encourage other partners. The Joint Head of Integrated Strategic Commissioning noted early insight from people on their wants and needs was important.
(a) That the contents of the Health Needs Assessment for Ageing Well be noted.
(b) That the Board endorse the recommendations in the Health Needs Assessment.
(c) That the Board champion the development of an Ageing Well Strategy Group to deliver on the recommendations and affiliated Action Plan across the wider system.