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Public urged to protect their health

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Warrington residents are being advised to be health aware and take steps to protect themselves, their families and friends.

The borough’s public health team has published its annual report, which outlines the main challenges for improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Warrington in the coming years.

The Public Health Annual Report 2018 focuses on how, working together with Warrington’s health partner agencies, local people can protect their own health.

It highlights the importance of local people taking up the offer of NHS screening, immunisation and health checks when invited; only using antibiotics when absolutely necessary and as prescribed; and taking responsibility for safe hand hygiene to stop the spread of diseases.

It also recommends the promotion of increased cancer awareness, by urging people to check out a lump, a change in bowel habits or persistent bloating or a cough that last for longer than three weeks; and encouraging people to make simple changes to help impact on air pollution, such as walking or cycling, instead of using the car for short journeys.

Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for public health and wellbeing, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, said:

“This is an important document, which sets out how we can work together with our communities to help them better protect their health.

“We all have a responsibility for our own health and can support our families, friends, neighbours and communities by understanding how we can protect ourselves and each other, and passing the message on.

“While there are key agencies that may take the lead in health protection, it is only by health agencies and the public working in partnership that we can ensure the most effective health protection measures are in place, and that services are accessed by the people who really need them.”

The annual report focuses on four key areas – infectious diseases; screening and immunisations; being prepared for an emergency, such as a flu pandemic; and wider aspects of health protection, including air pollution and alcohol use.

It sets out priorities to address these challenges, and describes the arrangements in place for ensuring the health of the local population is protected.

Success over the past year is also highlighted in the report, including a range of prevention work such as the Warrington Wellbeing programme – delivered jointly across public health, housing, neighbourhoods and social care – which, in just over 12 months, has supported almost 1,500 people with health, social and emotional needs.

The report also celebrates 70 years of the NHS, highlighting its role in health protection, alongside treatment and care.

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