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Building a Healthier Gwent

The publication of ‘Building a Healthier Gwent’ is the start of a conversation about how together we achieve the ambition of people in all communities across Gwent living more of their lives in good health. 
The many achievements since the NHS began have not changed the fact that people in some communities in Gwent live 18 years longer in good health than in others. The reason for that 18 year gap is that some people live the kind of healthy lives that prevent heart disease, cancer and lung disease while others don’t.
The influences on people’s health are complex. The places where we live, work, learn and play are a big influence on our opportunities to live in good health. Being connected to other people as part of a strong, supportive community is good for our health, but we know that 1 in 5 people in Gwent say that they feel lonely. How easy we find it to use facilities and services that help us to stay healthy is important too.
In ‘Building a Healthier Gwent’ I have set out the actions that taken together would achieve the ambition of people living more of their lives in good health in all our communities. There are many good examples happening across Gwent already. We need to build on these and all play our part. The Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 provides the opportunity to develop a new long-term, integrated and collaborative approach to preventing ill health and promoting wellbeing.
Through our conversation I hope we will develop a shared ambition and commitment that if we all do one thing, together we can Build a Healthier Gwent.
Dr Sarah Aitken
Former Director of Public Health & Strategic Partnerships, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board