People living in Fleetwood have been urged to come together to build a happier and healthier town

The Healthier Fleetwood initiative was launched earlier this year in a bid to improve the general health and wellbeing of the local population.

Town GP Mark Spencer, of the Mount View Practice, launched the project with the aim of bringing the community together to take charge of its own health through a variety of initiatives.

And local people have been invited to get involved and take the reins to determine what Healthier Fleetwood achieves for the local population.

Dr Spencer said: “Life expectancy in the most deprived ward in Fleetwood is significantly below the national average.

“Mental health is the biggest issue in Fleetwood and the answer to that is not more pills.

“The answer is hope. It is giving people a sense of purpose and it is connecting them. If we do that the mental health of the town will improve.

“What I have heard from speaking with the people of Fleetwood is fantastic and if we can bottle that and spread it across the town we will get those lost years back without a shadow of a doubt.”

The project, which is in the process of trying to access grant funding, is looking at a number of ways to improve the health and wellbeing of Fleetwood.

Organisers are looking to launch community involvement projects to develop green spaces which would combat social isolation and also offer an opportunity for people to do some exercise.

There are also plans for a dementia garden where plants and herbs with strong smells will be used to evoke memories and inspire reminiscence for local patients to relive memories.

Healthier Fleetwood has already got the support of the local NHS and local authority, with input from NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the organisation that plans and buys health services in Fleetwood, and Wyre Council, which will utilise its services in the area such as parks and open spaces.

Dr Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer at the CCG, said: “It is great to see communities coming together to improve health and wellbeing in this way.

“The NHS is evolving with an ageing population and patients with more complex health needs, so it would be great if people can be inspired to join together to live healthier lives.”

Mark Broadhurst, service director for health and wellbeing at Wyre Council, said: “I would encourage people to get involved and visit their local parks and gardens.

“Memorial Park in Fleetwood runs twice-weekly gardening clubs open to all and there are regular free health walks for all ages and abilities from both Memorial Park and Marine Hall.

“Come along and join in. Try something new.”

Volunteers are still being sought to develop the Healthier Fleetwood project and to help it develop things such as social media pages and a website. If anyone is interested in helping out, email karen.boylan@nhs.net


Notes:

  • NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the organisation responsible for planning and buying health services in the area to meet patients’ needs. This is known as ‘commissioning’.
  • Led by family doctors (GPs), the CCG currently serves a population of 152,000 people across approximately 320 sq km of coast and countryside. The majority live in the urban towns of Fleetwood, Thornton, Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Lytham St Annes, but a significant proportion live in rural villages.
  • The CCG receives a set amount of money from the government and is committed to spending this wisely for the benefit of local people.
  • Giving you more choice is a priority of the modern NHS. More information is available at fyldeandwyreccg.nhs.uk/choice
  • The NHS Constitution sets out your rights as an NHS patient: nhs.uk/choiceintheNHS/Rightsandpledges/NHSConstitution/Pages/Overview.aspx
  • There are many ways to get involved in health service developments, including joining our Influence membership scheme or your practice’s patient participation group.