Leicester City Council to slash £600,000 from Lifestyle Budget
I was asked to speak on the radio on Gem106 about the budget cuts – details quoted from press release with my comments in blue: –
Leicester City Council’s lifestyle services budget is being cut – but the council says they are ‘determined to keep providing the best possible services’
Any cut to a budget particularly a significant one like this implies that the problem isn’t that important yet what we have is an increasing problem with lifestyle related health conditions with a decreasing budget to support. A cut here will only save money in the short-term as we know that lifestyle choices can and do create health problems which cost the NHS and employers considerable amounts of money long-term.
Currently, services to help people lose weight, quit smoking and get more active are run separately but the move will see them integrated.
The council says it will mean a more ‘joined-up’ experience for residents.
The joined-up approach will potentially put pressure on the people involved in the schemes to help as they may not be ‘experts’ in all of the areas where help if needed and could potentially lead to a diluted approach.
Under the plans, people will be able to refer themselves, or get a referral from their GP. People will be able to get help and support digitally – for example from apps, websites and online chat forums – or by phone or text message, as well as face-to-face support.
Self-referral is a risky move as many people do not recognise health problems, feel they just don’t have time, they may feel embarrassed and not wish to come forward, so many people could slip through the net with a self-referral scheme.
Poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, eating unhealthily and not being active enough can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory diseases and other ill health.
Cardiovascular diseases, cancers and respiratory diseases account for two out of every three deaths in Leicester.
Health problems linked to lifestyle are increasing, we are seeing that people are getting unhealthier with each generation, what we need to do is put an emphasis on education so that people understand the choices they should make. I find people don’t respond well to being told what to do but embrace change more when they are empowered and informed to do so.
Full link to the article: https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/local-news/leicester-council-cut-605k-healthy-2074490
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