A review of the Carlisle Healthy City partnership has highlighted ‘good progress’ by experts from the World Health Organisation European Healthy Cities Network.
The review undertaken this summer by Phase VI Mid Way Review Committee looked at the work undertaken by partners, co-ordinated by the Carlisle Partnership, to promote healthy living and lifestyles. It concluded that: “Carlisle has made good progress across many Healthy Cities activities, from both a “traditional” health promotion perspective and a community asset-based approach. The city demonstrates strategic thinking and planning as well as the added value of being a Healthy City.”
The following strengths were identified:
- A strong city partnership, which operates at a strategic and practical level with a supportive Healthy City Steering Group.
- Investment in HIA, which has ensured strong engagement of communities, and by addressing the social determinants of health has influenced the city’s Area Plan particularly with respect to active travel.
- Practical approaches to and progress in tackling inequalities, e.g. Food Carlisle, Dementia Friendliness, and supporting mental health.
- Ingenuity and flexibility in response to the city flooding in 2015.
Joan Devlin of WHO Healthy City Secretariat said: “The WHO mid-way review assessment team felt that the Carlisle Healthy Cities team is delivering very well under difficult conditions and have a good understanding of what needs to be done to overcome the barriers the city faces. The city has a strong city partnership, which operates at a strategic and practical level with a supportive Healthy City Steering Group and has demonstrated many practical approaches to and progress in tackling inequalities, for example, Food Carlisle, Dementia Friendliness, and supporting mental health.
“Carlisle is one of the few Healthy Cities that has undertaken activities relating to ‘strengthening people-centred health systems’. The city demonstrates strategic thinking and planning as well as the added value of being a Healthy City despite very limited financial resources in local government and partners’ budgets.”
In December 2009 Carlisle was awarded Healthy City Status. In collaboration with a variety of partners the aim continues to be to address the inequalities that exist within Carlisle. Being a Healthy City does not mean that we have reached a particular end goal, it means we are aware of the challenges and committed to do something about it.
Carlisle City Council Cllr Lee Sherriff, Portfolio holder for Communities, Health and Wellbeing said: “Investing in the health of Carlisle means investing in the future, and requires a close collaboration between partners. We’re delighted with the WHO findings and will follow their suggestions on how we can progress even further. Work is well underway on the suggested next steps outline in the report.”