Merton’s first ever annual public health report, Merton: The Place for a Good Life, launched at Vestry Hall, Mitcham this week (21 October). The report sets out the council’s priorities and invites residents and partners to join together to address the health inequalities across the borough.
The report takes up recommendations from the 2013 Merton Partnership conference that all residents should have opportunities for a good life across Merton, including
- Best start in life, strong early years and education
- Good health, preventing illness, early detection of illnesses and accessing good health care
- Good life skills, good skills training, life-long learning and work
- Community participation and feeling safe, creating a sense of community
- A good natural and built environment, access to green spaces and healthy food
Examples of priorities within these themes include providing the most effective mother and child health interventions, developing health services that meet the needs of the residents in east Merton, increasing levels of employment and work, improving wellbeing through safer communities and building healthy environments that provide healthy options on our high streets and access to housing and parks.
The event, attended by Merton’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Maxi Martin and director of public health, Dr Kay Eilbert invited participants to consider how their organisations within the borough can work together to improve life chances for residents.
Councillor Caroline Cooper Marbiah said, “Since joining the local authority our public health team has been a positive influence on all departments. It works to embed health and wellbeing across all services where possible and ensures we work effectively with other organisations. They have done some great work with the London Fire Brigade to provide smoke alarms and help people stop smoking.”
Dr Kay Eilbert said: “Good health is the responsibility of everyone, which is why, through working together, I believe we can help bridge the health inequality between the east and west of Merton.”