Jan Smithies has been appointed to a new post crucial to improving health and tackling health inequality across the district - public health manager responsible for community development.
Her role is to manage community development initiatives across the district – and 20 members of the community development team, who work mostly within the inner city area with Black and Minority Ethnic communities. It is also to examine the role and responsibilities of her team, lead on the commissioning of community development, and link up with the national agenda, raising the profile of the work in Bradford.
One of her first major tasks will be to work closely with the local authority and voluntary groups to review whether there are gaps in services, and look at community development provision for relatively new communities such as refugees and asylum seekers. She is also planning to set up a community development base in Keighley, and hoping to share offices with the local neighbourhood management team.
Jan said: “One of my initial tasks will be to make sure we are making the best use of the skills of all our staff and giving them a sense of being part of a team.
It will also be to forge stronger links with GP alliances and healthy living centres making sure they are aware of what we can offer.”