Tackling health inequalities is a priority shared by the council, primary care trust and local strategic partnership.
Using the government’s Housing Health and Safety Rating System we were able to show the PCT how improving housing conditions could help reduce health inequalities and how it could bring together a number of health-related partners to reach the vulnerable and unengaged.
As a result, we have been commissioned by Liverpool PCT to deliver and evaluate the sustainability of the programme for £4.5m.
Convincing some clinicians that the programme can be a benefit to them has been one of the most significant implementation issues.
This is being overcome by working with the health centres and PCT colleagues to provide advice and guidance on the programme and how patients will benefit.
At the outset, it was envisaged that there might be capacity problems and therefore a reluctance for partners to join the scheme.
This has proved unfounded and our partners have shown a strong commitment to the programme and more are expressing an interest in engaging with it every day.
The findings of the programme will allow us to demonstrate the value of such targeted interventions and the increased benefits of partnership working.
This groundbreaking commitment by Liverpool PCT will hopefully prove a lead for other PCTs and should prove to be a model for other authorities.
Phil Hatcher, manager, Healthy Homes Programme, Liverpool City Council