02:27AM, Thursday 04 April 2013
The return of public health to the local authorities has been welcomed by healthcare chiefs at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
Health and social care services have returned to the council after 39 years with the NHS.
The borough says the transfer is a 'strengthening of opportunities to tackle public health issues on a local level'.
Cllr David Coppinger, cabinet member for adult services and health, said most public health needs are 'best dealt with' by councils.
He added authorities are 'tuned into local people’s needs and can target resources where they can do most good'.
All six Berkshire councils have joined forces to make the best use of resources.
The borough health priorities are being set with the help of a specific team of five based in Windsor – including the head of public health, lead consultant Rutuja Kulkarni.
Cllr Coppinger added: "We have a growing number of older residents so we need to improve our services for them and also think in new ways about how we encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles."
A new health and wellbeing board has been set up to integrate health and social care services through a new health and wellbeing strategy.
Issues to be addressed include encouraging residents to adopt healthier lifestyles, exercise more, reduce alcohol consumption and stop smoking.
Also on the agenda are improving sexual health, cutting obesity levels and reducing the impact of dementia on older people and their families.
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