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Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Our approach

To achieve our vision, we know the importance of working together, across Gateshead, with communities, breaking down boundaries between organisations and services.

Our Strategy has been developed and agreed by our strategic partners. It will be delivered with the different organisations in the Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Board.

Many underlying factors govern our health and well-being. They are rooted in the social, environmental and economic circumstances into which we are born and grow, the wider determinants of health. To effectively reduce health inequalities, we must understand these causes, so that we can see the opportunities for action.

The diagram below demonstrates the complexity of the issues which cause ill-health and allow inequalities to develop. It shows the different factors that impact our health, where they originate, and how they interact, multiply, and reinforce each other. At the centre of this are people and the communities in which they live. When viewed this way we can see that acting on single factors in isolation is likely to provide only a partial and incomplete response. Rather than acting on individual issues we recognise the need for a place-based approach.

Wider determinants of health

  • access to goods / services
  • income and debt
  • employment / quality of work
  • education and skills
  • housing
  • power and discrimination
  • natural and built Environment
  • health behaviours (including smoking, diet and alcohol consumption)
  • psycho-social factors (including isolation, social support, social networks, self-esteem and self-worth, perceived level of control and meaning or purpose of life)
  • physiological impacts (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety and depression)

Our Health and Wellbeing Strategy recognises that to deliver improvements at a population level we will need comprehensive action across the whole system of community, civic, and service interventions. We accept that approaches which are multifaceted and complementary are more likely to be successful in reducing inequalities and helping people in Gateshead thrive.

We will develop methods which consider and address this complexity as a whole system. The population intervention triangle below illustrates how the different elements required for a joined-up approach to treating a place fit together:

  • civic-led interventions refer to a wide range of functions, across a range of public sector organisations, such as planning, broadband, water, housing, road infrastructure and schools
  • service-based interventions refer to the range of public services, for example the NHS
  • community-centred interventions recognise the vital contribution that the community themselves make to health and wellbeing

While each element makes an important contribution, when isolated from each other the impact is not as great as it could be. No one part is more important than any other, but the ambition must be to effectively combine these parts into a coordinated, multifaceted whole through place-based planning.

Population intervention triangle

Population Intervention Triangle

We will use our Local Index of Need (LIoN) alongside conversations with local communities and professionals working with those communities, to help us understand the relative needs of different places and people. This will support us in identifying and developing appropriate interventions and where they would be best targeted within local communities.

In addition to geographically defined communities we will also consider the needs of communities of interest and develop approaches which tackle health inequalities for these groups.