Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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New Public Health system to address the problem of access to health in Short Heath

by Ian Shires on 30 March, 2012

Tackling the problems of inequality is just one of the positive outcomes of the recent Health Bill and this aspect was seized upon by Lib Dem councillor Doreen Shires at a meeting of the Short Heath and Willenhall Partnership this week.

In a discussion on Public Health Doreen demanded to know what action would be taken to improve access to health services for the residents in Short Heath.

“The old system under the previous Labour Government moved GP services out of Short Heath. The review of bus services a year ago added to the problem by cutting off direct access for some Short Heath residents to GPs in New Invention” said Doreen.

Statistics show that action taken under Labour had done little to address the long standing issue of health inequality in the borough which means that residents in areas to the west of the borough such as Short Heath live up  to 12 years less than those in the east such as Aldridge and Streetly.

Under the new Public Health arrangements health inequality comes high on the agenda with the new Health and Wellbeing Panel charged with holding people to account on the issue. New Patient Panels have been set up and all GPs in Willenhall are signed up to improving and promoting healthy living.

Talks are to take place to identify ways of improving access to health for Short Heath residents. “I’m pleased that at long last we have a system in place which is aware of the poor access to health in the area and is prepared to do something about it” concluded Doreen.

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