The Chief Scientific Advisor for the Department of Health and Social Care is visiting Thanet today (Friday 6 September) to see some of the work underway to help and improve residents’ health.
Professor Chris Whitty will become the new Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Adviser to the United Kingdom Government in October. He is currently and will remain as co-lead of the National Institute for Health Research.
He is meeting health and public health staff as he visits the Thanet Healthy Living Centre as part of a series of visits across the UK to hear about particular health research needs in local areas.
Professor Whitty said: “Services and schemes that address public health concerns in the region, such as helping people reduce smoking, drug and alcohol misuse and maintaining a healthy weight, are important for improving the lives of those living in the Thanet area. I’m looking forward to meeting with staff and the public in Margate to hear about the fantastic work being carried out to support the local population in overcoming some of these issues.”
Kent County Council funds a healthy living centre in Thanet which offers a range of activities to local residents to stay healthy and well including smoking cessation support and healthy weight management. KCC Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “There are a number of different public health issues to consider in Thanet – smoking rates, levels of obesity and alcohol and drug consumption are just some of the factors seriously influencing peoples’ short and long-term health and wellbeing.
“We are working with a range of agencies across the area to tackle this and it is recognised that it must be a whole systems approach, there is no one simple answer, so we welcome this visit to discuss some of the developments being made and sharing good practice with other regions in the future.”
As part of his visit, Professor Whitty also visited local Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Multi-agency Task Force. Mike Andrea from the Thanet Aspirations Healthy Living Centre said: “We provide a one-stop site for community health and well-being services in Thanet. Our vision is to provide multiple platforms of healthcare in an environment where people feel safe to share their problems, feel comfortable asking for help and are motivated to raise their aspirations to change their lifestyle positively. We look forward to welcoming Chris Whitty to show him everything that we do at the Centre, and also to discuss what Thanet’s needs are now and how we want to tackle these going forward.”