Leicester's Care, Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2027
I am pleased to introduce our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Leicester, which reflects the ambitions and priorities of the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
Leicester is a vibrant and diverse city in which to live and work, but there are complex health challenges that need addressing. We aim to reduce health inequalities and improve the quality of life and life expectancy of residents, particularly those who are from lower socio-economic groups, and seldom heard communities.
Leicester has been hit particularly hard, being the first place in the country to go into local lockdown in Summer 2020 and having relatively high levels of coronavirus infection throughout.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected people differently, with those with lower socio-economic status linked to housing and lower-paid jobs or unemployment showing higher rates of coronavirus infection, hospitalisation, and deaths than the general population.
These differences have been seen in levels of coronavirus infections, numbers of hospitalisations, and deaths as well as other impacts such as the economic effects. School bubbles having to close and children missing schooling has affected all children to an extent, but again children from more deprived areas have missed more school due to higher levels of coronavirus infection in the community and more frequent school bubble closures.
Many people in the city will have been personally affected by the grief of losing loved ones to coronavirus and we offer you our sincere condolences for your losses. We acknowledge that many people’s lives will have been changed forever by the pandemic.
This strategy looks beyond the remit of healthcare alone and focusses on improving the health and wellbeing of Leicester’s residents over the next five years. We are also looking to reduce the impact of unfair differences in health and wellbeing, known as health inequalities. These were already present in our city, as they are nationally and around the world. However, the coronavirus pandemic has made many of these health inequalities more visible, and in some cases will have made these inequalities worse.
In this strategy, we set out our intention to use our local assets such as parks, waterways, leisure centres and museums and theatres to support health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. We will also work to make the city environment, including buildings and open spaces, as advantageous to good health and wellbeing as possible.
When the previous strategy was initially developed it was a time of financial pressure which was being felt across all sectors and organisations. We are now faced with the complex nature of a city and country trying to recover from the effects of a pandemic as well as restoring services in the face of continuing financial pressures, alongside the rising cost of living for us all.
Delivering this strategy
Delivering this ambitious strategy will depend on a co-ordinated and collaborative approach between all partners, including
- the local authority
- health and social care
- local businesses
- the voluntary and community sector
This approach may not be without its challenges, but we believe that working together is the best way to have a long-lasting, positive impact on the health of our city’s residents as we all work to move into a recovery phase whilst the pandemic remains a reality.
During the pandemic, the people of Leicester demonstrated enormous community spirit to support one other. It is this drive and determination that will contribute to the delivery and success of the strategy.
I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this strategy, a strategy which represents an important step in improving the health and wellbeing of Leicester’s residents. Together, we can continue to make this city a great place to live, work and socialise as we continue the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Vi Dempster, Assistant City Mayor - Health