Help for 'long Covid' sufferers included in new Ipswich scheme

The Profiles gym at Ipswich Waterfront is one of the five run by the borough council, which could se

Sport and fitness programmes by IBC will be among those in the new health and wellbeing tie-up with the CCG - Credit: Archant

Support for those with 'long Covid' in Ipswich will be among health and wellbeing schemes being developed in a new tie up between council and health services.

Ipswich Borough Council and Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group have agreed a link-up that will deliver targeted health projects in the town.

Among the key projects will be longer term rehabilitation support from those suffering from long Covid, a two-year social prescribing project for BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities, a relaunch of the Take 5 Challenge for supporting the wellbeing of youngsters in primary schools and increased dementia awareness.

Around £800,000 has so far been committed, while funding will also be arranged for two health and wellbeing officers to deliver the project - an increase on the part-time funding for one officer that has previously been agreed.

David Ellesmere warned that the council's reserves have almost all gone. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said: "It's very good news. It's quite unusual to be given this amount of funding, and is a real vote of confidence in the borough council from the NHS in our ability to deliver the programme that they want."


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Among the objectives for the programme are reducing health inequalities some communities face and providing more joined-up health services, while other actions include promoting healthy travel options to reduce the impact of poor air quality, activities programmes at the town's parks and improve access to sports.

Elsewhere, the council proposes to train fitness instructors at its gyms to deliver weight management advice and signposting, promote health checks, develop activity programmes for mental health and discharged patients, and streamline referral pathways for those with conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and cancer.

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Work delivered under the programme will be assessed by academic or research partners to build a portfolio of evidence on how effective the measures are.

The council's report said the scheme will help bring together existing work around health and fitness, homelessness, parks and community services into a "comprehensive health and wellbeing package".

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