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July 2020
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As the demise of Primary Care Trusts approaches, the future face of community health provision was demonstrated in West Midlands town Sandwell recently, when social enterprise Mytime Active showed how it can effectively deliver 23 integrated health services in the local community.

Said Annie Holden, Health Division Manager at Mytime Active, which delivers similar services across the UK: -In April 2013, responsibility for public health transfers from PCTs to local authorities and they need to have confidence in those they choose to deliver their services.

-The ground-breaking work that we have been doing in Sandwell, working with local community groups and delivering integrated healthy lifestyle services spanning the life cycle from early years to older age, is a perfect demonstration of how this work can be effectively outsourced to deliver improved impacts on the health of local communities.”

Sandwell is home to some of the worst pockets of deprivation in the UK and research by Sport England shows that local residents are amongst the least likely to do regular exercise in the country, but Mytime Active is already changing this by making it much easier for people to access a variety of healthy activity opportunities.

Since it was awarded the contract to deliver these services by the Sandwell PCT in November 2011, over 20,000 attendances have directly benefitted local people participating in their programmes.

Mytime Health’s Stop Smoking programme is achieving a 40 percent success rate, up from 28 per cent the previous year; 14,000 people participate in Sandwell Stride walks; 19 children centres are now delivering FABtots; health checks for cardio-vascular disease have been implemented in all 69 GP practices; Mytime Health’s pioneering pre-diabetes work will feature at the Heart UK Conference; and its Cookwell programme was singled out for a visit by Prime Minister David Cameron in December.

Recently local dignitaries, inspirational local celebrity and athlete known as ‘Blind Dave’ Heeley, health care professionals, patients and voluntary sector organisations all came together at The Sandwell Healthy Lifestyles Showcase at the The Public arts venue in West Bromwich.

They were able to see and sample Mytime Health projects delivered in partnership with a range of local community groups, from FabTots for early years and pregnant women to cycling, including a Watt bike exercise demo, Long-term Conditions Pilot, Slimwell (adult weight management), Extend and Active Sandwell for older people, as well as Stop Smoking Services, Walk from Home (for frailer older adults), Pulmonary Rehabilitation and the Health Trainer Service.

Said Steve Price Chief Executive of Mytime Active -You can’t force people to live healthily, but if you provide easily accessible integrated services, ensuring people know about them and provide a single point of access , so that people are empowered and motivated to improve their health, you can make a huge difference. It was inspiring to hear from participants who have had their health transformed, and we’re committed to doing all we can to extend these improvements across Sandwell.”

Said Jyoti Atri, Deputy Director of Public Health for Sandwell PCT: -It was good to see Mytime Active working collaboratively with partners to deliver a service which is fully integrated and delivered around the needs of individuals in their communities. We believe this joined up approach to tackling health inequalities is vital for the future of public health.”

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