Building the ‘wellbeing economy’ for the benefit of all
Lancashire businesses have a major role to play in building the ‘wellbeing economy’ that will benefit everyone in the county in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
That was the rallying call from Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, the county’s director of public health, speaking at the 2021 Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Conference.
He told delegates that bringing together the health and wealth creation agendas had the potential to make a major difference in the county.
Dr Karunanithi said the pandemic had impacted Lancashire and other parts of the North harder than other areas of the country and had highlighted the inequalities that existed in communities.
It has also “magnified” the need for those involved in health and in wealth creation to really work together. Dr Karunanithi spoke of a true partnership approach involving business, community, and health leaders.
He highlighted Burnley as an example of a community that had great “potential and opportunity” but also some of the worst health outcomes in the country.
And he said that it was vital for the government to recognise the real links between the economic and health agendas, with poor health costing the economy billions of pounds each year.
Businesses also had to recognise the importance of their workforce’s wellbeing and the impact that had on performance. Wellbeing had to be more than a health and safety box ticking exercise.
Dr Karunanithi said he believed technology had its part to play in helping to create a wellbeing economy, that was also carbon neutral.
Looking at the pandemic and the county’s response to it, he said: “This year has been such a significant year. It has completely changed the way we will view the world going forward.”
He added that it had highlighted the need to work together to make a difference and he told the conference: “We have got a big job to do going forward in Lancashire.”
He also called on Lancashire business leaders to encourage their workforces to get vaccinated and said testing was another vitally important weapon in the fight against the virus.
The Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Conference was hosted by Lancashire Business View.
It was presented in association with Beever and Struthers, Breathe Therapies, CG Professional, Lancashire Mind, Nugent Santé, Physiofusion, The Landmark, The University of Central Lancashire and VEKA UK.
The online event was latest in the magazine’s Lancashire Conferences series – featuring interviews and interactive panel discussions which get to the heart of the issues that really matter to businesses in the county.
It looked to raise awareness of the importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace and how to manage it and involved both physical and mental health conversations.
Two separate panel discussion examined engagement and wellbeing strategies for remote and hybrid working and looked at ‘return to work’ and ‘at work’ strategies.
Panel members were drawn from a wide variety of sectors and backgrounds and included health experts, business leaders and academics.
Delegates also heard from Sally Leech, director of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace and Ross McWilliam, owner of Mindset Pro.
More coverage of the event can be found in the next issue of Lancashire Business View which will be published early next month.