Blackburn with Darwen Council health role praised

THE way Blackburn with Darwen Council has carried out its public health role has been praised in a report by a national think tank.

About £1 million has been invested in services across the borough in 2013/14, to address issues ranging from child poverty and increasing use of parks and open spaces, to providing services which prevent falls and enforcing sales of alcohol to people who are underage.

Publishing its resource pack for local authorities, the King’s Fund praised Blackburn with Darwen’s ‘strong, innovative partnership between its public health team and the rest of the authority’.

The council developed its public health model after evidence showed many services not traditionally associated with health — such as housing, education and transport — can have a big impact on wellbeing. It also brought together staff who plan and buy services for adult social care, children’s services and public health into a single team.

The council’s director of public health, Dominic Harrison, said: “We have made great strides during our first six months and can already start to see the benefits of investment in these services, but this is a long-term approach and over the coming years we would expect to see a steady improvement in the health of local residents.”

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