New strategy to help people live better

A new adult social care strategy has been approved for South Tyneside to help people live better lives.

The Better Life strategy was developed following wide consultation and was co-produced with people in need of care and support, local partners and people working in the social field.

The approach is part of the ‘Our Council’ change agenda which aims to ensure people have a say in services in South Tyneside.

Shaun Armour, an NHS Integrated Care Board commissioning officer who also supports Equal People, a group run by Your Voice Counts, was one of those to get involved.

He said: “Part of my involvement was making sure the materials were easy to understand and accessible. I also supported people from Equal People to make sure they had their views heard.”

As part of the new approach to giving residents more say in services at South Tyneside, co-production training was offered.

Peter Gardiner, who was also involved in developing the strategy, said: “The co-production training was great. It was about coming together to have an equal voice to make things better at South Tyneside.”

The new five-year strategy highlights six key goals based on local and national priorities and local people’s views on what needs to change to match their vision for a better life. This includes: prevention and early intervention, helping people to stay healthy and independent for as long as possible by encouraging them to lead healthier lives and make the most of their own strengths and resources; helping people stay in control of how they receive their care and support to help them achieve the best outcomes; ensuring the safety of those at risk of harm and abuse; work in partnership to improve health and care, work with communities and have a sustainable and skilled workforce.

Councilor Anne Hetherington, Senior Member for Adults, Health and Independence, said: ‘We want the people of South Tyneside to live in the place they call home with the people and things they love, in communities where people care about each other, doing things that matter to them.

“Thanks to the input of the people who use our services, we are now in a strong position to work together to enable more people to realize their vision of what it means to live a better life.”

Resident Suzanne Dummer said: “I got involved because it’s important that people with disabilities, hidden or otherwise, have a better life as they shouldn’t have to worry about the little things. As a person with a physical disability, it can be difficult for I only have to walk through doors or go to a toilet that will accommodate my wheelchair By sharing my experiences, I hope to be able to change things for the better for other people.

To view the strategy, visit

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