Belfast Telegraph

Trust plans to tackle health inequality

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has launched an action plan to tackle health inequality in the most deprived areas within its remit.

These include Kilcooley and Rathgill estates and Bangor’s Harbour ward and the Westwinds estate in Newtownards.

The other target areas are in Lisburn and Downpatrick.

The five biggest inequalities in these areas are alcohol related deaths, teenage births, smoking during pregnancy, self harm and lung cancer.

The document outlines a series of actions which the Trust, local community groups and other partners working together will undertake to address these areas of inequality.

It does not reflect the wide number of interventions already in place across the Trust area to improve health outcomes, the plan will focus on specific additional initiatives that will be put in place in 2011/2012 for these deprived areas.

Hugh McCaughey, Chief Executive, South Eastern HSC Trust said: “This plan outlines the Trust’s commitment to reducing health inequalities in partnership with various organisations across a number of our communities. These will focus on areas such as early years, mental health, obesity, drugs and alcohol and should ‘enhance’ the positive work that is already ongoing in the community through various groups and agencies resulting in communities being supported to take ownership of their own health and wellbeing.”

Dr Carolyn Harper, Executive Medical Director/Director Public Health, Public Health Agency added that the South Eastern Health Inequality Action Plan would help to reduce the gap in health and well being between those in the most disadvantaged areas and the most well off, “something we are all working towards.”

The Health Inequality Action Plan for the South Eastern Trust area 2011/2012 was launched at an event in the Colin area of west Belfast and can be obtained by visiting www.setrust.hscni.net

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