Welcome to the May issue of The Triangle

This month the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board (BSW ICB) is proud to be awarding the first of our grants to local Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise Groups. These grants mark a significant step in our ongoing efforts to address health inequalities across our region.

These health inequalities have wide-reaching consequences.

With life expectancy across BSW ranging from 73 to 91 years depending on factors such as sex and geographical location, it’s clear that disparities exist. Additionally, pockets of deep deprivation and inequality persist, with two neighbourhoods falling within the most deprived 10 per cent of communities nationally.

Data also tells us that some of our most disadvantaged and marginalised communities are also sadly among the highest users of NHS services and have poorer health outcomes.

These disparities place increased pressure on our already busy hospitals and services and, given our ever-growing elderly population, represent a situation which we know will worsen every year.

Consequently, we are committed to tackling these issues head-on by prioritising the prevention of illness, early intervention, and the reduction of health inequalities.

From the development of an obesity strategy to enhancing access to mental health support for individuals with severe mental illness, and from smoking cessation outreach events to various other interventions, we are actively creating healthier environments for all residents of BSW.

These are important work programmes because the most effective way to improve healthy life expectancy is to create the right conditions, communities and environments for children and adults to remain well, regardless of where they live in BSW.

In the same way, our health inequalities grant programme is part of a dedicated focus on addressing unfair and avoidable differences in population health to drive forward work programmes that reduce inequalities, prevent poor health and improve people’s opportunities for a better life.

We are proud to be awarding these grants and developing these strategies, particularly during such financially challenging times for the health service.

You can read more about how we are working to address these problems in this issue of The Triangle and also in our Integrated Care Strategy and Implementation Plan.

Thank you, as always, for taking the time to find out more about the work of our Integrated Care System and please do share your thoughts about local health and care issues by getting in touch with bswicb.partnership@nhs.net