PEOPLE will be encouraged to take more responsibility for their own health as part of plans to help a cash-strapped council cope with an ageing population.

City of York Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board’s annual report highlights the work done over the past 12 months to come up with a strategy which will improve the way people care for themselves across the city.

Part of that has been the development of a new joint health and wellbeing strategy for the city which has four main themes: mental health and wellbeing; starting and growing well; living and working well and ageing well.

Cllr Carol Runciman, chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board, will present a bi-annual report on Tuesday.

The report explains how radical changes will need to be made because of financial restraints.

It points out: “Our future approach in York will be to use existing skills and assets to build resilience in our communities and to encourage people to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing as much as possible.

“Financial, demographic and demand pressures mean that all partners in the health and social care system will need to work together to redesign services around the customer.

“York is one of the most financially challenged areas in the country in terms of funding for both health and social care services; people in York have high expectations, the population is ageing and we have less resource than other areas to provide our services. We will therefore have to radically change the way we work.

“We need to shift the focus from ill health to wellbeing and work with people of all ages to promote healthy lifestyles that see people through to old age; part of this will be dealing with social isolation and looking at encouraging people to be more involved in social and cultural activities.”

A new mental health strategy for the city is currently being developed and there will be a consultation on this during summer 2017.

These will be reported back to Health and Wellbeing Board, which also hopes to start work soon on a learning disabilities strategy for York.