HAZs told to help smokers give up

27 May 99
Smokers and homeless people are being targeted as part of a drive to improve the health of some of the poorest areas in England.

28 May 1999

Announcing a £74m three-year package for 15 new Health Action Zones (HAZs), Health Secretary Frank Dobson said that £10m would be earmarked for projects that help smokers quit.

The new zones will also attempt to cut the number of homeless people and those who live in unsuitable accommodation.

Dobson hailed HAZs as the best example of cross-government working. The bodies were set up in the belief that closer co-operation between health, social services, education and voluntary sectors would foster better services. 'We are committed to reducing health inequalities by improving the health of the worst-off at a faster rate than the general population,' the health secretary added.

Some 11 HAZs already exist, including a scheme in Luton which prioritises home repair grants for the elderly, the disabled and those on a low income who are in private sector housing.

The new zones include Bury and Rochdale, Cornwall, Leeds, Merseyside, Sheffield, Tees, Wakefield, Wolverhampton and Brent in Greater London.

Brent HAZ will launch plans to reduce teenage pregnancies, improve educational attainment and cut the number of pupils excluded from school. The local health authority said the programme would also cover regeneration and employment, education and housing, and access to good quality food and better health services.


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