Healthy eating and relaxation are part of council’s aim to improve health in Warwick district

TAI chi classes for the elderly and schemes to encourage people to eat more vegetables are among the measures being taken by Warwick District Council as it prepares to take on a new role in public health matters.

The reforms currently being shaped for the NHS will mean that Warwickshire County Council will take over responsibility for looking after the health of its inhabitants from April 2013.

A new director from the county council will be appointed to lead a board made up of various representatives - including three from the district and borough councils within the county, one of whom will represent both Warwick and Stratford districts.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Warwick district councillor Michael Coker (Con, Kenilworth Abbey) said: “As a council, we deal with a lot of issues to do with public health, for example making sure restaurants are hygienic, pest control and providing sports facilities.

“The idea is for all the local authorities and the health authority to work together.”

Last year, primary care trust NHS Warwickshire gave the district council £10,000 for public health schemes, which was matched by the council, meaning £20,000 is already being spent on healthy eating projects in the Brunswick, Crown and West Warwick wards.

Cllr Coker said: “We are also planning to fund an tai chi instructor for one year to hold sessions at nursing homes to help our elderly residents become fitter and more flexible and reduce their chances of falling.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The idea is for the instructor to train staff so that, after the year is up, the sessions can carry on.”

He added: “Housing officers are also being asked to, when they speak to our tenants, encourage them to give up smoking if they are smokers.

“For example, if someone is in financial trouble, the housing officer can suggest that they would save money by giving up smoking.

“We want to try to get people to be healthier so they don’t become ill, which will relieve the health service. It’s a super idea for the councils to be involved.”