Making Tower Hamlets Healthy

1 April 2017

A key focus of the Tower Hamlets Together (THT) programme is about supporting and empowering local residents to stay as healthy as possible. Sue Hogarth, Consultant in Public Health for THT, explains more about our approach to making Tower Hamlets healthy…

THT has presented a fantastic opportunity to think much more about how we can support residents to stay healthy. For example, working in a way in that allows health services to address the wider determinants of health, has enabled us to lay the foundations for a health and social care system that is far more person-centred, placing their needs at the heart of everything we do.

But what does supporting people to keep as healthy as possible mean? For me, it’s ensuring:

  • People have a better quality of life, enabling them to fulfil their potential without the worry of ill health
  • People spend more time living their lives and spending time with loved ones rather than in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals
  • When people are unwell, we support them so that they recover quickly and continue to stay well
  • We truly embrace the concept that prevention is better than the cure

You can see THT doing this through organisations working more closely together so that staff are thinking about the whole person rather than someone as a patient, then a client, then a service user – it’s the same person! It’s also about getting organisations to pull in the same direction on things that residents tell us are important to them, and that’s why we’re busy developing an outcomes framework that will ensure the work we do is based on what people tell us important to them.

We’re supporting staff to have different conversations with their patients and clients to help identify when they need support on things like healthy eating, exercise and to keep mentally healthy. Our Making Every Contact Count programme has so far delivered training to around 190 frontline staff to help them support to do this at every possible opportunity.

The only way we can be successful in any of these endeavours is by working as closely together as possible and continue to break-down the boundaries and barriers between organisations and services here in Tower Hamlets.

I’m excited for what the next 12 months of the THT programme will bring as we continue our journey to make Tower Hamlets healthy.