Prevention: working together to influence behaviour and help reduce demands on public services
Working together to reduce demand on public services through preventative strategies, early intervention and by promoting behavioural change was the theme of the conference.
Over 100 partners from across the county came together on 21 June 2017 to see how we can work collectively to address the challenges this would involve.
Areas for discussion included:
• How can we use resources more effectively to stop or prevent need arising; rather than simply responding to the need once it has arisen?
• How can we encourage the lifestyles and behaviours which mean that the need for intervention does not arise?
• How can we build a culture of prevention across the county?
• Can we work together to influence behaviour and help reduce demands on public services?
Working together for Prevention
Prof. Jim McManus, Director of Public Health, Hertfordshire County Council
The Voluntary Sector in Hertfordshire
Paul Standbrook, Chief Executive Officer, St Albans CVS & Volunteer Centre
The Hertfordshire Street Triage Scheme
A/DCI Matt Phillips, Hertfordshire Constabulary, and Sarah Biggs, North and East Crisis Services Manager, Hertfordshire Partnership University Foundation Trust
As well as networking opportunities delegates took part in a workshop to investigate how prevention policies could work in practice.
Delegates identified a number of areas of where they felt the prevention approach would be best placed. The Hertfordshire Forward Strategy Group discussed and considered the findings from the conference at their meeting on 27 June and asked for three overarching issues to be explored further for their next meeting in September and then possibly onto the Assembly in the autumn.
- Preventing social isolation and loneliness
- Preventing recyclables being sent to landfill
- Building Quality Communities - design of homes and communities that promote neighbourliness, good health and wellbeing
During the conference Jim McManus, Director of Public Health made an offer to organisations present to facilitate a workshop on how to ‘kick start’ Prevention initiatives in a geographical area, sector or organisations. This offer was accepted by a number of organisations and the Public Health directorate are progressing this work.
There were a number of issues raised by delegates at the conference that are already available or underway. Where this was the case the relevant information and contact details were provided. E.g. a request for a database of volunteering opportunities; this is available through #TeamHerts, a resource commissioned by Hertfordshire County Council.
This was a key opportunity for senior elected members, board members, chief executives, senior officers and policy makers to shape thinking on these key topics. The conference is the only pan-Hertfordshire Forum where all key statutory, voluntary and commercial interests in our County can get together and consider the issues of the day.
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