Covid-19 will affect the way in which the Partnership operates over the coming weeks and months. However, our work of supporting and enabling collaboration across Humber, Coast and Vale will not stop.

Professor Stephen Eames, Independent Chair for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership

Just a few short weeks ago, Sir Michael Marmot, the guru of health inequalities and public health, published a review 10 years on from his ground-breaking report on the health of the population and health inequalities in 2010. His review did not make for happy reading, highlighting the continuation, and in some cases exacerbation, of health inequalities in our nation.

It could be very easy to forget about Sir Michael’s important message in the light of the current situation we face with Covid-19. Over the coming weeks and months, our frontline teams across health and social care will face intense pressure as we continue to fight this new virus and work together to limit the pace of its spread. Collectively we must continue to do everything we can to support our frontline teams.

Our ambition and commitment to the people we serve across our Partnership is to collaborate across political and organisational lines to scale up the collective effort to improve health and wellbeing. This is captured in the fundamental purpose of our Partnership, which is to enable everyone in our communities to start well, live well and age well. Today, meeting this aim requires us to focus on the here and now and ensuring we are in the best place to fight the spread of Covid-19.

It also requires us to think of the long term as well. This week we launch our five year strategy – our Partnership Long Term Plan. This is the culmination of 12 months of engagement with partners, stakeholders, voluntary sector representatives, patient groups and the wider public. It describes our vision for our Partnership to support our population to live healthier, happier lives. In particular, it sets out how we will address these long-standing health inequalities and the barriers that those living in our more deprived communities face to improving their health and wellbeing. It is important that we don’t take our eye off these inequalities in the coming weeks and months and allow Covid-19 to have a disproportionate effect on the most vulnerable and least well-off in our society.

The government issued new guidance yesterday setting out a series of measures aimed at slowing the spread of the outbreak and protecting the most vulnerable in society. It is important that everyone, including staff across all our organisations, follow these guidelines. This will affect the way in which the Partnership operates over the coming weeks and months as we change and adapt to this new reality. However, our work of supporting and enabling collaboration across Humber, Coast and Vale will not stop. Now, more than ever, we must lean on the strength of our partnerships to ensure we can continue to mount the most coordinated and joined-up response.

Leo Stevens

Author Leo Stevens

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