Winners in this category reflect the key role that councils and their partners have in tackling inequalities and improving health and wellbeing. Whilst improving the health of the general population is important, this category is also about targeting interventions towards vulnerable individuals, groups or communities. The awards recognise innovative approaches that improve pathways into, through, between and out of a range of local public services, particularly for people who are most at risk of poor health and wellbeing. These include addressing the mainstreaming of preventative activities, partnerships with relevant agencies and local communities, or projects that are building capacity for the health and care agenda, including links to appropriate planning and budgeting arrangements. To be successful , the winners have described specific aims and how these are being addressed through community involvement, effective partnership working and innovation

Scottish Borders Council: Early Years Assessment Team

The Equally Well Task Force report 2008, recommends that ‘NHS Boards improve the capacity of antenatal services to reach higher risk groups and identify and manage risks during pregnancy’.  In 2008, The Early Years Framework asked that ‘Local partners work to develop a parenting capacity building model for antenatal and post-natal services’ and ‘develop capacity to meet a range of health and wider social needs in maternity support services’.   There is a growing body of research which highlights the impact of risk factors in pregnancy  i.e. substance misuse, domestic abuse, poor mental health, learning disability and the subsequent impact on a child’s long term health and development outcomes.

Since 2009, 532 women have been referred to the team and this represents 12% of all pregnant women in the Scottish Borders.   Two of the most significant achievements to date are a substantial increase in breastfeeding rates among the most vulnerable young women (well exceeding the NHS HEAT target of 33%) and timely decision making for those babies that are unable to safely remain with, or return to their families.

Download more information: TII04 Early Years Assessment Team

North Lanarkshire Council: Income Maximisation Project

North Lanarkshire Council is the largest local authority landlord inScotlandwith approximately 37,000 homes with tenancy failure as high as 20% in some areas.  Housing Services sought to address these challenges establishing a Sustainability, Prevention and Support Group, one of the key issues to be addressed was the financial/social inclusion needs of tenants. In June 2010, a pilot scheme by the Financial Inclusion Team and Housing Services was started in Airdrie,Coatbridgeand Wishaw, where Housing advisors would offer to carry out a benefit check, ensuring the tenants income is fully maximised.

From June 2010 to 31st March 2011, Housing Services generated £1,475,744, in benefits for 596 new and existing tenants, making 1,399 claims for benefits of which 1,021 were claims for Housing and Council Tax benefit, which is direct income for the Council, minimising rent arrears and in the longer term contributing to the sustainability of tenancies.

The pilot demonstrated that early intervention with income maximisation assists in addressing the financial/social inclusion needs of tenants, prevention of rent arrears and greatly assists the sustainability of tenancies and in April 2011, the project was rolled out to all Housing Office’s in North Lanarkshire

Download more information: TII20 Income Maximisation Project

Renfrewshire Council: ROAR (Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire)

The Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire (ROAR) initiative was developed in 2007 following a combination of national research on changing demographics and local research indicated a clear need for more low level services for older adults – services which could potentially delay or prevent services users requiring more costly packages of care and support.  The key aims of ROAR are to increase the independence of older people within local communities, whilst improving levels of mental health and physical wellbeing.

ROAR originally started with one ROAR club in Johnstone. To-date the expansion of the ROAR club network has continued and there are now a total of 11 clubs operating in the Renfrewshire Area with around 200 service beneficiaries attending. An overwhelming 86% said that the ROAR clubs had a positive effect on their health. Volunteers across the range of services have quadrupled from the inception of the project with 120 volunteers providing approx 1300 volunteer hours per week.  Social Return on Investment analysis indicates that for every £1 invested in ROAR activities, the project creates £5.91 of social added value.

Download more information:TII29 ROAR (Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire)

The Highland Council: Modernising Services to Support Adults who have a Learning Disability to Lead Rich and Fulfilling Lives

A major programme of modernising services for people with a learning disability is well underway in respect of both the development of new sustainable housing and care solutions and a thorough review of day services.  The success of both has been largely due to the excellent collaborative working between Social Work, Housing and NHS staff, Housing Associations, care providers and local communities. The modernisation of services is based on the recognition that the vast majority of people with a learning disability inHighlandcan, and should, be supported, wherever possible, in their own communities and be assisted to play as full a role as possible in local community-based activities. Experience in Highland has ably demonstrated that people benefit most from individually tailored housing and care solutions and where they can be supported to access activities that keep them active physically and mentally, provide learning and stimulation enhance personal and living skills and importantly, build confidence.

Download more information: TII38 Modernising Services to Support Adults who have a Learning Disability

East Renfrewshire Council: Go Barrhead!

Go Barrhead! is the brand behind East Renfrewshire Council’s integrated local delivery of the Scottish Government’s “Smarter Choices Smarter Places” and “Health Weight Communities” initiatives in the town ofBarrhead. Life changing results have been achieved through new approaches to project delivery; innovative methods of engagement; and consistent messages delivered through a strong brand and social marketing campaign.

Download more information: TII12 Go Barrhead!

Perth & Kinross Council: Pathways For Short Term Prisoners

As a response to Government policy with regard to reoffending and homelessness the Tayside Protocols were established in 2009. A number of Government reports had indicated the critical role of drug/alcohol misuse, employability, health and homelessness (21ST Century Social Work – reducing Reoffending, Protecting Scotland Communities, and COSLA Prevention of Homelessness Guidance). The COSLA Homeless Prevention Guidance emphasised the significant risks of homelessness faced by prisoners and highlighted the benefits of establishing clear protocols to address housing issues more speedily and fully.

Developed as part of a strategic approach to the key criminogenic needs of short term prisoners at HMP Perth the aim of the protocols was to forge a seamless transition between custody and community reintegration; to improve resettlement and thus impact on reconviction rates and a range of related outcomes such as housing and substance misuse. The rationale was to facilitate the joint working of a range of different agencies across Tayside so that problems associated with housing, substance misuse; health and employability were successfully tackled.

Download more information: TII27 Pathways For Short Term Prisoners

Aberdeenshire Council: School Travel Planning in Aberdeenshire

This award submission describes the innovative and creative approaches used by Aberdeenshire Council to promote School Travel Planning. School Travel Planning (STP) has its roots in the Safer Routes to School (SRTS) initiative which began as a pilot project in 1998. Building on the success of this pilot the STP initiative was introduced in 2003 with the objective to achieve sustainable changes in travel to school behaviour to reduce the environmental impact of transportation, address mobility issues, promote social inclusion and improve the health of school communities. Through promotional activities such as walking and cycling events, competitions and partnership working by 2011 165 schools in Aberdeenshire (96% of all schools) were involved in the STP initiative.

Download more information: TII30 School Travel Planning in Aberdeenshire