From April 2013, responsibility for public health in Hampshire will transfer from the NHS to the County Council, as part of the Government’s reforms to health services. Hampshire Now looks at what this means for the people of Hampshire.
Public health is about helping people to stay healthy and avoid getting ill. Led by our new specialist public health team, we will be building on work we are already doing with borough and district councils, the NHS, volunteers and communities.
Much ill health is preventable. The key things that affect our long term health include where we live, if we have a job, what we eat and drink and whether we are overweight.
The most important things that we can do to prolong good health are not to smoke, reduce alcohol intake and become more active. By making these lifestyle changes, we can prevent many illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, most cancers and even dementia.
Many people make New Year’s resolutions, which may have included:
signing up for a weight loss programme
joining a fitness class or going to the gym
making friends, getting out more, taking up a new interest or hobby
cutting back on alcohol
eating more healthily
Some of our good intentions may have lapsed, but better weather is on the way and there’s much that you can do at home and in your local community to help you live more healthily:
Walk to the shops. Take the stairs and not the lift - active living!
Start gardening - grow some fruit and veg, or flowers. Your local library can help you find a club and get going.
Volunteer and make new friends – loneliness can make you ill!
Have at least two days every week without drinking alcohol.
Get fit and have fun! Register and practice for a charity run or cycle ride
Find out about sports and recreation facilities and leisure centres in your area.
Take up your invitation for a free NHS Healthcheck which is now being offered by GP surgeries, once every five years, to people aged between 40 and 74.
Give yourself a better chance of avoiding illness
Get healthy food and activity tips for you and your children at NHS Change 4 Life
Reducing preventable ill health is one of our main aims. Hampshire County Council is working with partners to develop a joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which will include a set of priorities and explain how we will work together to improve the health and wellbeing of the county’s residents.