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Get on board the Health Bus

July 30, 2013

The council now has responsibility for public health and we’re taking health to the people and communities of Newcastle

We’ve worked closely with Pfizer Limited to organise a health bus that will tour Newcastle for two weeks.

The idea is simple, but the bus symbolises the council’s fresh, new approach to improving public health. We want to bring ideas about wellbeing and health into communities, we want people to see health in a wider context and to tell us what makes them unhealthy and unhappy.

Instead of an official letter from a doctor or GP surgery inviting you to come into the surgery – an appointment that can easily be ‘put off’ or forgotten about – we’re placing the bus in supermarket car parks and even at our first Newcastle Fair in Exhibition Park.

We want you to pop in and talk to us about your health as part of your normal day.

And you’ll also have access to a range of health care professionals. For example, you can get a free NHS health check and get advice on stopping smoking or drinking fewer units of alcohol.

There will also be advice on everything from sexual health to welfare rights and money management.

But this bus is not just about providing medical solutions to illness or practical advice on life’s everyday problems.

It’s about showcasing the other things that we know make a difference to wellbeing and health in Newcastle.

That’s why we’ll have information about our parks and open spaces and why there will also be sporting and arts activities taking place around the bus.

The bus starts its journey around our city at Kingston Park on 5 August and will visit seven other areas of the city over the next fortnight.

You can discover its full schedule by clicking on our council website, or calling our Wellbeing for Life team on 0191 277 7524.

We believe the transfer of public health to the council is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change lives across Newcastle for the better.

We will work with everyone to make our city a fairer, happier and healthier place for everyone to live. We want to build on our reputation as an innovative place of partnership that is not afraid to address the unfairness and injustice that is often the root cause of illness and unhappiness.

We see public health as a chance to affect lasting change, not an additional burden on precious time and resources. We need to see health in a social, rather than a medical context.

And we believe that local people make the real difference, that the neighbour who has given up smoking, and who feels healthier and financially better off because of it, is ideally placed to help others in their community give up their habit.

We want to work with communities because they know what works best where they live.

We’re taking our health bus into these communities and starting a conversation.

I’d urge you to get on board and join us on the journey to making Newcastle a healthier and happier place.

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