08 October 2010,

Birmingham and Solihull LIFTCo - Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley Visits Washwood Heath Development

Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley CBE MP joined residents in a deprived area of Birmingham for a health fair to showcase the £15m Washwood Heath Health and Wellbeing Centre.

On hand to give advice were footballers from the Blues. They even gave children the chance to perfect their skills and were watched by the MP.

And there was expert health advice and medical checks from the 'health bus' to cooking demonstrations, henna art and yoga sessions, to karate displays and music provided by Nasheed band Aashiq Al Rasul.

The fair attracted residents from Washwood Heath, Saltley, Hodge Hill and surrounding communities and was organised and supported by a number of bodies.

Dr Waheed, GP at Oakleaf Medical Practice, said: "This widely received event has been a fantastic success. We are delighted that we have been able to encourage so many people to find out more about the different health services that are available to them and the ways that they can live healthier despite life's circumstances."

Paul Sabapathy, Chairman, NHS Birmingham East and North, said: "This has proven to be an incredibly valuable event and one which could be mirrored by other communities around the region, as we try to ensure some of our most deprived wards tap into the vital services that are available to them.

"Lifestyle changes over recent decades have really impacted on health. Conditions such as diabetes and obesity are an on the increase in the Washwood Heath area, which also has an above national average proportion of young people. So it's vital that we make the most of every opportunity to inform and encourage people to make positive lifestyle choices earlier in life, just as the health fair has done."

The new, three storey primary care centre will bring together a wide range of services under one roof to meet the needs of a 15,000 strong, patient population in what has previously been an under-doctored area.

For further information please contact Birminghamd and Solihull LIFTCo