To receive a report from the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Interim Director of Public Health, and to consider and endorse or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member on the proposed decision to extend the contract for tier 1 and tier 2 weight management services to 31 January 2016, pending competitive tender of the healthy weight service.
Ms M Varshney, Consultant in Public Health, was in attendance for this item.
1. Ms Varshney introduced the report and emphasised that, as many aspects of weight management were outside the control of County Council, as commissioners of the service, it was vital that all partners collaborate effectively to address issues at a local level. Ms Varshney responded to comments from Members, as follows:-
a) one speaker praised the effectiveness of a weight loss course that he had attended and recommended it as way of controlling weight;
b) the appendix to the report mentioned the extension of the consultation to include healthy weight services for children. In such services, it was vital that parents were given feedback so they could make appropriate lifestyle adjustments for their family, as part of the preventative agenda;
c) an example of local schemes which could be introduced was an ‘outdoor gym’, a selection of fitness equipment which the public could use, free of charge, which had been installed by a parish council. Good partnership working would promote, and ensure best use was made of, such facilities. Health walks were another local initiative put in place by parish and district councils. Ms Varshney agreed that, by working closely with local partners, all the facilities that they each ran would be available to the overall campaign, and the areas of the population which could most benefit from these facilities could be identified;
d) one speaker referred to the previous provision of a gym in the basement of Invicta House, County Hall, and Ms Varshney undertook to check if this facility was still available and advise the committee; and
e) the County Council should retain its role as a co-ordinator of these various local services.
2. The Cabinet Member, Mr Gibbens, thanked Members for their comments and undertook to take account of them when taking the decision.
3. RESOLVED that:-
a) the approach for developing a system-wide strategy for Healthy Weight in Kent, and a revised commissioning timeline, be supported; and
b) the decision proposed to be taken by the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, to extend the contracts for Tier 1 and Tier 2 weight management services to 31 January 2016, after taking account of this committee’s comments, be endorsed.