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Top Cities Join Forces To Boost Public Health

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Key figures in the public health of England's biggest regional cities are joining forces in an attempt to accelerate the steps being taken against problems such as smoking and teenage pregnancy, it was announced today.

The 10 PCTs in England's biggest cities outside London - Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield - have joined forces to create the Core Cities Health Improvement Collaborative.

By collaborating more closely both with each other and with the cities' local authorities and other partners - such as police, fire and third sector agencies -  the cities believe they can identify and share best practice far more quickly and efficiently.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation's national conference in Liverpool, Laura Roberts, CEO of NHS Manchester, said: "Despite best efforts, there are still massive differences in life expectancy in our major cities

"Each city, has its own success stories of work being carried out to reduce problems such as teenage pregnancy, childhood obesity and the harm caused by alcohol.

"By bringing these cities together to collaborate and share their experiences, we have an opportunity to make significant improvements to the health of communities, both within these eight core cities and beyond."

During the next two years, the Core Cities programme will focus on tackling six major health inequalities which are among the top public health priorities for all of the UK's major cities: alcohol harm, mental health and wellbeing, smoking, teenage pregnancy, childhood obesity and all age, all cause early mortality.

Though led by PCTs, the collaborative also aims to bring together a range of public, third and private sector organisations to address the determinants of health far beyond the remits of primary care trusts.

The first stage of the programme will see key teams, made up both of those directly responsible for overcoming these issues and their senior colleagues from their PCTs and from other agencies, join together for a series of short conferences on their experiences to date.

As well as sharing best practice in this way, the collaborative will also provide knowledge management tools to facilitate further engagement, and look to give those working in health in the eight cities a collective voice on key issues which affect them all.

To assist this process, a consortium managed by Finnamore Management Consultants - together with Dr Foster Intelligence, VISTA and SOLACE Enterprises - has been appointed to facilitate the programme.

Bruce Finnamore, executive chairman of Finnamore, will act as the collaborative's programme director. He said: "Between them, these eight cities are doing some of the best work anywhere in the UK to tackle the country's biggest health improvement challenges.

"The benefits of bringing these people together and helping them to share their successes collaboratively is therefore huge. Our job is simply to make that collaboration as easy and seamless as possible."

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Notes to editors:

  • The Core Cities group is a network of England's eight largest regional cities, including Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.
  • For more information about Core Cities, see www.corecities.com
  • Core Cities Health Improvement Collaborative (CCHIC) was established to boost collaboration between the cities' 10 Primary Care Trusts: Birmingham East and North, South Birmingham, Heart of Birmingham Teaching, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, NHS Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham City and NHS Sheffield.