Why our health advocates are doing a great job
Recently I met with the City Council’s health advocates, the network of staff whose role is to help make the council a better, healthier, place to work.
Since the advocate network started they have instigated a range of activities from health at work days featuring blood pressure monitors and smoothie bikes to helping the council achieve ‘continuing excellence’ status in the NHS Better Health at Work award.
I’m really impressed with the work they’ve put in so far, particularly since they do this voluntarily on top of their ‘regular job’.
The network is a great example of where the council can lead the way and set an example to other employers about how to listen to the views of staff and improve working conditions.
Doing this is a key part of our new responsibility for public health, we must lead by example and persuade other employers –large and small – to make a difference by embedding public health in everything we do as an organisation.
We’re still not perfect, but we are making real progress towards becoming a better, healthier, place to work.
On June 26 for example we’re holding a wellbeing and health event for council staff where they can try out a range of fitness activities and also undergo a cholesterol check.
An important part of leading is getting the right person at the helm and we’re also on our way to appointing our new Director of Public Health.
Our job advert, which goes live this week, explains how we want someone who shares our radical approach which is to look at the social – as well as the medical – causes of illness and unhappiness.
We will appoint someone who understands and supports how the council can change lives and make a real difference and embraces our vision of public health.
I’m really looking forward to meeting the candidates and working with the right person who shares our passion to create a happier, healthier Newcastle.
Cllr David Stockdale, deputy cabinet member for public health, culture, leisure and libraries.