Issue - meetings

Director of Public Health 2023 Annual Report

Meeting: 19/03/2024 - County Council (Item 2)

2 Director of Public Health 2023 Annual Report pdf icon PDF 88 KB

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Councillor Margaret Bell introduced this report, the theme of which was the impact of domestic abuse.  The theme was explored through the pathway of a fictional character, based on real life experiences, which enabled the far-reaching effects of domestic abuse to be highlighted.  The aim of the report was to raise awareness and demonstrate the need for a partnership approach.  Councillor Andy Crump seconded and reserved his right to speak.


Councillor Jerry Roodhouse welcomed the report and thanked the Director for Public Health for shining the spotlight on domestic abuse and the complexities of the subject.  He noted the report also discussed the general health of Warwickshire and expressed continued concern regarding the figures for self-harm and mental health, which he considered were persistent issues that needed to be addressed.  He looked forward to implementation of the recommendations and the positive impact that this would have.


Councillor John Holland echoed support for the report.  However, he questioned the implementation of its recommendations as he did not consider that the recommendations of the 2022 report, in particular relating to free school meals for children had been effected.  He also considered that the preventative and supportive actions were impeded by funding reductions to key service areas such as Sure Start Childrens Centres and School Nurses and a comparatively low number of police per capita of population.


Councillor Isobel Seccombe congratulated the Director of Public Health on her report and noted that the reports always generated interest.  She particularly noted challenges around the use of social media by children and young people and the link to mental health.  Responding to Councillor Holland, Councillor Seccombe explained the budget pressures of implementing free school meals, and noted that the recommendations in the report were not specific to the Council.


Councillor Jonathan Chilvers welcomed the effective narrative approach to the report and applauded the inclusion of practical advice for individuals concerned about family members or friends.  He asked Councillor Bell how she would like to see the second recommendation in the report, relating to Supporting child victims of violence and abuse, taken forward over the coming year.


Councillor Judy Falp reflected on her involvement in domestic homicide reviews and emphasised that abusive relationships were found in partnerships of all types not just husband and wife, and the number of instances of abuse, on average, it took for a victim to seek support.   She requested that the report be shared with district and borough representatives and suggested training for all council staff.


Councillor Millar echoed the comments of Councillor Holland regarding funding reductions to preventative services and what she viewed as the consequences being demonstrated in the report.  She emphasised the importance of implementing the recommendations and funding the future of children.


Councillor Jackie D'Arcy also commented on the need for funding for free school meals which had been highlighted in the 2022 report.   Turning to the 2023 report and the public health improvements and challenges, she noted the levels of alcohol admissions per 100,000 population and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2