Along with caring properly for our ageing population, one of the big challenges facing Suffolk is to promote healthier lifestyles for everyone. Last week, Dan supported the launch of the The Most Active County initiative in Ipswich, which is a new project that brings together local groups and community organisations to take advantage of the contribution that sport and physical activity can make to improving the health and wellbeing of residents in Ipswich and Suffolk. At the moment, 50 per cent of the adult population in Suffolk do little or no exercise. The cost of treating people with conditions such as obesity and heart disease amount to £12.2 million every year. The Most Active County campaign aims to address these problems by using the momentum of this summer’s Olympic Games to inspire more people of all ages to take part in more physical and sporting activity.
One of the key challenges is to tackle the health inequalities that continue to blight the more economically challenged areas across Suffolk, particularly in Ipswich and Lowestoft. To do this, we will need to actively encourage healthy lifestyles and highlight the dangers associated with smoking, obesity and alcohol misuse. As an NHS hospital doctor, and as someone who has given up free time to support charities for those with drug and alcohol misuse problems, Dan understands better than most the need to promote an active lifestyle and good health. Despite his busy schedule as your local MP, both in Parliament and locally, Dan always makes the time to fit in exercise to benefit his health and wellbeing.
Community sports clubs such as Whitton United are already leading the way in encouraging people of all ages to do more exercise. The Club now coaches and looks after over 250 youngsters, giving them the chance to take part in regular, structured physical activity, which brings many health benefits. Dan is a great support of Whitton United, and has worked with Lucky Singh and the team there to help deliver a new stand and improved function rooms for the club, and is currently working to gain funding from the Football Foundation to enable further improvements to be made at Whitton United.
Dan would like to commend Suffolk County Councillor Kathy Gosling for working so hard to launch the Most Active County project, along with all of the local groups that have agreed to work to together to remove the barriers preventing greater participation in sporting activities in Suffolk. He very much looks forward to playing his part, both locally and in Parliament, to help make Suffolk the most active and healthy county in Britain.
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Drug Treatment Services (16 Jul 2019)
Daniel Poulter: I congratulate the hon. Member for Manchester, Withington (Jeff Smith) on securing the debate. I agree with everything he said. I draw the attention of Members to my declaration of interest as a practising NHS psychiatrist and as someone who has worked in drug addiction, or drug treatment, services. I do not intend to rehearse the discussion on the lack of, or reduction in, funding for the...
Children and Mental Health Services — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (16 Jul 2019)
Daniel Poulter: I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing the debate; he is making some very good points. As he recognises, CAMHS are the Cinderella services of the Cinderella service—mental health is still woefully underfunded in comparison with many other parts of the NHS. Does he also recognise that CAMHS recruitment is a real challenge? The August 2019 fill rates for higher trainees in the UK stand at...