Star date: 29th January 2018


Salford City Council is proposing to slash £170,000 and nine posts from its Health Improvement Team which helps some of the city's most vulnerable people. This comes after a £1.6million cut to the service recently.

Meanwhile, the Council has had the Team running first aid courses for dogs, and has lavished almost £118,000 on a My City Health website via Greater Manchester Transformation.

Full details here...

Salford City Council is proposing yet more cuts to its Health Improvement Team, after a £1.6million cut a few years ago. It's cutting a further £170,000 from the budget, meaning a further nine posts will be axed, leaving the Team just around a third of what it was.

The Health Improvement Team does what it says, helping to improve the health of Salford people, via supporting voluntary groups and promoting things like healthy eating and breast feeding, while aiding the fight against smoking, alcoholism and obesity.

The cut breaks down as £20,000 from infant feeding, £100,000 from anti-smoking and £50,000 from family management, which includes weight loss. At a time when there are huge moves to prevent illnesses that stretch already overstretched health services, the cut seems bizarre.

The £170,000 cut is related to a new D.I.Y. health service in Salford where vulnerable people are expected to sort themselves via a website. Indeed, the Council, via Greater Manchester Transformation, has just launched a My City Health website at a cost of £118,000 which focuses on smoking, drinking and weight, as human experts in health prevention get booted out of the equation.

The My City Health website is being pushed as "testing innovative service delivery models for incentivising and supporting lifestyle behaviour change". Yet the Council's own estimates show that 20% of the city's population, or 30,000 people, are digitally excluded. Indeed, the Council has handed £180,000 to the Good Things Foundation and expects 7,800 people to be online by the end of the contract. Another My City Salford website has been developed at a further cost of £180,000 (see here).

As Salford Council puts its energy into making the city into a developer's wet dream, there is no doubt that people who can't buy into that dream are getting left behind and shafted. This £170,000 cut proposal is just the latest episode...

See also previous related Salford Star articles...

Salford Council Uses Health Improvement Team to Help Run First Aid Courses for Dogs – click here

Disgust at Salford Mayor as Service Users Walk Out of Health Cuts Meeting – click here

Ordsall born and bred. wrote
at 11:34:38 AM on Thursday, February 1, 2018
Old Cigarette, don't get me wrong, cigarettes are without doubt bad for you and there are many smoking related illnesses. My disagreement was in the assertion that by spending money on smoking cessation it would decrease costs to society. The total lifetime costs to society are less for smokers, they die younger, rarely live long enough to acquire non smoking related illnesses, require less geriatric care, take less from the pension system and pay more in taxation. I would love for everyone to quit smoking,I dislike being around people that smoke. However we live in a free country and smoking is not yet illegal. For those that either can't or don't want to give up, they should not be incorrectly labeled as a cost to society.
Ordsall born and bred. wrote
at 7:33:35 AM on Thursday, February 1, 2018
Miffed, I'm glad I made you smile, it is important to have enjoyment in life, wherever that comes from. I will however address your post, written as wrote. I stated that your victim shaming was despicable, not that you were despicable, it was therefore not personal, a small but important difference. You then go on to say "poor you", I am unsure why you once again attempt to belittle me. I am sure that your comments regarding smokers were made in all good faith and that you in no way intended to cause offence. However to imply that smokers are a cost to society will cause many, including family members offence. I never doubted the figure you quoted that there's a cost to the health service, I do doubt your assertion that this equates to a higher total cost to society. Your comment was not evidence based, it was a quote from a journal relating to costs to the health service, not of costs to society. I gave examples of real people to personalise my comment, if you think that is less valid than a single quote from BMJ then it is you that have the problem. There are studies on total costs to society, I could have just as easily quoted them. I have worked in healthcare for over 20 years, if you choose to disbelieve, that's your prerogative, it changes nothing. It is my opinion that you are victim shaming by telling them they are a cost to the health system, when there is overwhelming evidence that over their lifetime they are a less cost to society. You again attempt to berate and deride me, a particularly unpleasant trait.
Old Cigarette wrote
at 7:33:31 AM on Thursday, February 1, 2018
Ordsall born and bred, I get tired of people going on about the evils of tobacco. Truth be told, for many working class and so called under class people, smoking is about the only pleasure that they have left in life. People ( The Men in White Coats ) they say that smoking is the Professor Moriarty of our times; but are they right? If you go back in time seventy years EVERYONE smoked, but did they all succumb to lung cancer? Obviously not. So why didn't they? I personally believe that today there are far worse things than a pack of smokes. Things such as sugar laden junk food, and air pollution, from the innumerable cars, lorries, busses and aeroplanes that are doing their thing 24/7. Then you have the things that affect peoples circadian rhythms, the artificial lighting and the overuse and dependency on electrical devices. All of this shit is probably worse for our health than smoking twenty B&H a day. To me, all the never ending bollocks about smoking is just another way of persecuting the working class. They do it in numerous ways. The turning public houses into an endangered species is one of the ways that they've done this. They did it by allowing supermarkets to sell cheaper booze so that the pubs can't really compete, and through excessive taxation on alcohol, and via banning smoking inside pubs.
Ordsall born and bred. wrote
at 3:30:40 AM on Thursday, February 1, 2018
My original reply to Miffed was not posted for some reason, so my "in addition" remark read in isolation is nonsensical. In that post I referenced studies from the Netherlands and Chicago that found that smokers save society on average £50,000 over their lifetime. I also stated my qualifications as PhD in Social and Public Health, refuting the suggestion that I should read more. Miffed made incorrect assumptions regarding the breadth of my knowledge, thereby demonstrating their instinctive technique to dismiss others. They ridiculously assumed that my opinion was based on the two examples I gave, they were examples and not indicative of the totality of my knowledge. It is Miffed that has provided incomplete financial information. Miffed quotes a medical journal that only includes the costs that smokers have to the health service, a cost I do not refute. However that journal does not take into account the unpalatable, but truthful, fact that there's a saving to the system too. I would encourage anyone to give up smoking, as a long healthy life is preferable to them and to their loved ones. However to make people and the families of those that are suffering from smoking related illness feel guilty for being a financial burden is, quite frankly, despicable. I find Miffed's victim shaming as unacceptable. That is my well informed, widely read and factual opinion.
at 1:14:53 AM on Thursday, February 1, 2018
Ordsal b+b, you make me smile. In your initial post you said that my views were despicable and yet when I reply you complain of a personal attack! Oh poor you.You also refer to the lack of evidence however at least my points were evidence based and from a credible source unlike yours which in your initial post were based on the 2 people you knew and nothing more, only afterwards do you say it isn't. If indeed you have worked in healthcare for 20 yrs you should know very well that health cannot continue to be reactive in its approach, society needs organisations such as the health improvement service to take a proactive approach to health inequalities and readdressing the balance. I maintain my point that based on EVIDENCE from a myriad of sources, prevention is better than cure. Maybe your head is only just part way out of the sand? whether it is or not keep it up its entertaining.
Ordsall born and bred. wrote
at 1:47:33 PM on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
In addition, Miffed, you state as fact, that I relied solely on "the two people" that I know that smoked. You really think that after working in healthcare for over 20 years that my opinions and experiences are gained from two people? They were used as examples. My head is well and truly "out of the sand". Though I would suggest your myopic views are restricting your ability to take all evidence into account. It appears you think it is acceptable to personally attack someone with an opposing view, I do not.
If I was Mayor wrote
at 10:25:25 AM on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
I hear both miffed and OrdsallBorn. My dad and mum both smoked and died horribly deaths in their 50s. I know smoking kills and even as a non-smoker myself I would treble Salford Health Improvement Team budget to include local free patches, and 80% off Vapours and free gym passes making health team impact the best in the North West. Salford Council must be made to face the music if it risks the health of even one person. True Felsey.
Miffed wrote
at 10:22:11 AM on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Ordsal born and bred, nobody is victim shaming smokers and nobody is blaming people for becoming ill. Examples could have quite easily been made around cardio vascular disease, diabetes, alcohol or any other number of preventable non-communicable diseases. You seem to have completely missed the very basic point that preventing disease is both cheaper for society whilst also being better for the citizen, for this reason Salford Council should be investing in our health not cutting services that support people to be healthier. The "flawed calculation", as you call it was taken from the British Medical Journal and so is a credible source. However if you want to find more evidence that smoking cessation is a cost effective strategy then I would suggest that you read some books rather than rely on the 2 people that you know that have smoked and died in their 60s. Take your head out of the sand and look at the bigger picture, you may be suprised
Ordsall born and bred. wrote
at 5:01:28 AM on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Miffed, I am offended by your victim shaming of smokers and their alleged costs to the health service. I,my siblings and my parents are not, and never have been smokers, however my best friend lost both her parents recently, both in their early 60's. They both worked and paid into the system their whole lives. The tax paid on their cigarettes alone would come to a huge amount, certainly more than the higher figure of £40,000 quoted by you. They had never had any serious illness before and had taken little out of the system. They both died before claiming an old age pension, before getting any age related illnesses such as dementia, joint replacements, arthritis, osteoporosis, non smoking related cancers, etc etc. In fact they saved the system massive amounts of money. Your simplistic and,quite frankly, flawed calculation,is far from the whole picture. Your assertion money spent on smoking cessation officers would pay for themselves is clearly not based on all the facts. Your attempts at victim shaming those smokers that either can't or don't want to give up is despicable.
Miffed wrote
at 10:25:25 PM on Tuesday, January 30, 2018
This council completely baffles me! Whilst our neighbours in Manchester are investing in health promotion with 20 new stop smoking workers, Salford are slashing this vital service. Its not as if this service is one that cost money either, it actually saves money. If we look at smoking the average it cost to help somebody to stop smoking is about £500, compare this to the approximate cost of treating lung cancer, between £7k to £40k. The figures speak for themselves. Its not even as if Salford doesn't need this service, Salford has some of the highest levels of morbidity and mortality in the country. This councils leaders don't seem to give a toss about its citizens. The rich developers get away with daylight robbery avoiding taxes, we give handouts to stadium companies and pro sports clubs, spend millions on a nice garden in Worsley. And what do the people get? dumped on from a great height, thats what!
If I was Mayor wrote
at 10:23:53 PM on Tuesday, January 30, 2018
and I beg each of the 10 respected workers to make their own Health improvement resolution to get the Councillor nomination form each, pick one ward each and stand in the May 2018 election. I urge my union Unison to back these 10 to get them elected. I want to see them making the healthy decisions instead of taking the crap fed down to them by what I see as out of touch relics of a foolhardy past. Please do this for Salford - Felsey.
Mystic Meg wrote
at 1:52:51 PM on Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Is anybody really surprised by this? Aren't we all mature enough to know that the tinpot~ plastic socialists of "City Hall" don't have our best interests at heart. They don't even have the interests of their fellow council employees at heart. These jokers are nothing but a merciless Band of Brigands. These careerists, these pencil pushing pseudo socialist wonks, the only thing that they think about is their pension pots.... Saying all that, the perpetually pro Salford Labour Council supporting Rayofsunshine will soon be popping out of the woodwork, and offering up a feeble defence of these Muppets. Words fail me, with the never ending failiures of these clowns, and the ludicrous defences that they receive on here from the likes of Rayofsunshine, I feel as if I'm living in a parallel universe, an Alice in Wonderland, Twilight Zone type of place. All that I can do to get through this - this nightmare is ... is hope that Michael J Felse somehow manages to gain a bit of power, and Moses like, leads us long suffering Salfordians to the Promised Land. Viva MICHAEL J FELSE YEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!
Felsey wrote
at 1:52:03 PM on Tuesday, January 30, 2018
If I was Mayor I would treble the number of Health Improvement Team grass roots workers to include 10 young apprenticeships in Social Care and 10 ward based disability benefit PIP advisors to help 8,000 local residents get the higher disability allowance in accordance with the change in PIP Law, helping local people to improve mental health wellbeing. Salford Council need a rethink where rightful higher benefits payments can help gain community health improvement. Why do we have a Labour Council?
Jayne Gosnall wrote
at 12:46:49 PM on Monday, January 29, 2018
I really don't get this. Making positive changes in our lives and lifestyles usually needs a very human and humane touch. Speaking as someone in Recovery I would be dead were it not for the comfort, wisdom and encouragement from many extraordinary, ordinary people. What about people who are already isolated?....or whose self-esteem is on the floor? I understand that council budgets have been savaged and the Tories and Con/Dem governments are to blame for that, but dehumanising our libraries and health is not the way to go. When are we going to do what we did with the poll tax and just say, "No! We're not going to play your game anymore?"
JB wrote
at 12:46:28 PM on Monday, January 29, 2018
Such a shame, the people of Salford deserve better than an online interaction, especially in an area where computer ownership and literacy levels are lower than the national average. This strategy will only go to widen the gap in inequalities in our city. This is a service that really seems to have lost its way recently, perhaps its the fact that the recent cuts have meant that there are nearly as many managers as front line staff? or perhaps that they have lost focus on what they are supposed to be doing? doggy health care for instance? or perhaps its just that when they do have money they spend it on the wrong things? The rumour was that they spent £50k on a brand new bus but had no driver to drive it? could this be confirmed? What on earth is going on in this vital service? Sort it out Salford Council the people deserve better.
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