COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges and new experiences for everyone. But, while the pandemic has affected us all, it has affected us all in very different ways.
This is the opening gambit of this year’s Public Health Annual Report (PHAR) from Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health, due to be published in September 2021.
The report studies the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the borough and sets out a series of recommendations to address the challenges that the pandemic has brought us.
The PHAR, in draft at this stage, was discussed at this month’s multi-agency Wirral Health and Wellbeing board on 20 July. Julie Webster, Wirral’s Director of Public Health, said: “When everyone is healthy, everyone benefits. We have made great progress to support people to live healthier lives in Wirral. However, some communities continue to experience better health than others.
“The pandemic has shone a light on this issue, as the heaviest impacts have fallen on the lives of people already experiencing health, economic and social inequalities.
“These differences are the most significant health challenge in Wirral. They impact on the quality of people’s lives; the way residents use services and how individuals and the economy prosper”.
Key recommendations in the report include prioritising economic regeneration, increased support for children, young people and families and strengthening action to address health inequalities.
Julie Webster continued: “The pandemic has heightened the need to rapidly adjust support for people to enter the job market and maintain economic independence in order to minimise the impact on our already vulnerable communities.
“The programme of regeneration in the borough is one of the biggest in Europe and will create a world class standard of economic opportunity, digital connectivity and growth for the borough and our residents.
“The economy and public health rely on each other to function and thrive. Focusing on health outcomes allows the economy to flourish in the longer term, which is supportive of health.”
At the meeting, health, care and community partners considered and commented on the report and its draft recommendations for the borough. You can view the webcast of the Health and Wellbeing board here: https://wirral.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/584342/start_time/2946000.