Flixton House was the venue for the July meeting of the Strong Communities Board, with the focus on the new Long Term Plan for health, social care and wellbeing. There is a lot happening in this area, with the NHS, Council, health providers and care services working hard to integrate into a coordinated, effective and efficient offer for residents. Tom Maloney, Health & Social Care Programme Director for Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group and Trafford Council, delivered a presentation highlighting the vision for new health and social care services, the key areas of work to tackle our biggest challenges and the role we all play in our own health and wellbeing, and that of the community. The intention is to launch a wide programme of partner and community conversations about what’s important in health and wellbeing and what we can do together to make improvements. There followed lots of discussion about the challenges of explaining such a complex area to residents and how to make discussions meaningful, honesty over the financial challenges we face and the need to invest in prevention as well as treatment, and the practical ways partners such as the voluntary sector can get involved. The second part of the agenda followed up on this last point, with Joanne Gibson, Head of Commissioning at Trafford Council, leading a discussion on ‘co-production’; defining this often used (and mis-used) term, the opportunities and challenges it presents and practical ways we can do more to involve people as early as possible when developing new activities.
As always there was a lot to take in, but it prompted some really good discussions, and provided information for both the presenters to take away but also for partners to continue in their organisations and networks.