Since 1 April 2013, local authorities have taken on responsibility for public health from the NHS.
The public health objectives we are focusing on in Somerset are to reduce health inequalities and increase life expectancy.
We will achieve this through a wide range of targeted public health programmes to promote better health.
The health and wellbeing board have developed a shared vision for Somerset that people live healthy and independent lives, supported by thriving and connected communities with timely and easy access to high-quality and efficient public services when they need them.
Our priorities are to help:
- People, families and communities take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.
- Families and communities thrive and be resilient.
- Somerset people live independently.
Public health works in the following areas:
- stop smoking
- mental health
- sexual health
- teenage pregnancy
- older people
- dental health
- children and young people
- community safety and accident prevention
- healthy eating and physical activity
We all have a role to play in maintaining and improving the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families, by trying to live a healthier way of life. The lifestyles we lead play a significant part in our health and wellbeing. There are a number of actions we can each take to improve our health and wellbeing.
Top tips for better health
- Do not smoke and do not breathe the tobacco smoke of other people
- Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and cut down on fat, salt and added sugar
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week
- Maintain, or aim for, a healthy weight (a BMI of between 20 and 25). If you would like to calculate your BMI, you can do so by visiting this NHS BMI Calculator
- If you drink alcohol, have no more than 1 to 2 units a day. Visit the NHS Choices website for more information about alcohol units and how to calculate your alcohol intake
- Protect yourself from the sun. Cover up, keep in the shade, never burn and use factor 15 plus sunscreen. Take extra care to protect children – make sure they always have plenty of sunscreen
- Practise safer sex – use a condom
- Make the decision to go for cancer screening when invited
- On the roads, think safety. Keep an eye out for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists – keep your distance
- Manage your stress levels – talking things through, relaxation and physical activity can all help reduce stress