BNSSG Healthier Together

Joint Forward Plan

Population health, prevention and inequality

Photograph of two people smiling and planting seeds in a planter.

Why it’s important

We all know that prevention is better than cure. The more we can do to look after ourselves and our families, the better it is for our health.

Like other parts of the UK, people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are dying earlier than they should because of preventable illness. Smoking or being overweight are the two main causes.

We are also seeing more harm from the impacts of alcohol and drugs. This includes higher hospital admissions and more alcohol-related deaths, compared to the national average. More needs to be done across our partnership to support people in a preventative and planned way through education and treatment services.

On average, women live longer than men, but spend a greater proportion of their lives in ill health. A Women’s Health Strategy for England has been published to try and address the issues, which we will support at a local level.

We know that sexually transmitted infections are on the rise and that poor sexual health tends to affect people already experiencing inequalities. Greater focus will be placed on prevention, particularly working with marginalised communities.

Strong family relationships, friendships and people’s access to things like education, quality housing, green spaces and healthy food can all have a big impact on our health and wellbeing. Some people will have better access to these things than other people which can result in health inequalities.

Health inequalities is a term used to describe unfair and avoidable differences in people’s health – such as how long a person may live, the health conditions they may experience and the care available to them.

In our area

0 %
of adults smoke

In our area

0 %
of adults are overweight or obese

What we can do

  • We will implement a Swap to Stop scheme that supports adults to quit smoking tobacco with the help of vapes, along with information, advice and support.
  • We have committed to developing a Healthy Weight Declaration that is rooted in compassion and with a strong focus on prevention.
  • Continue in our efforts to reduce the harm of alcohol and drugs, and the stigma that surrounds it, by providing easy to access services to people who need them.
  • We have committed an additional £3.2m to help focus efforts on reducing inequalities. A plan will be developed to help us to support the needs of people that are most disadvantaged.
  • Increase uptake and coverage of vaccinations, such as Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) – so everyone has the protection they need.
  • We will invest in training for staff working in women’s health with a focus on contraception (coils and implants), menopause and trauma-informed care.
  • We will work with women facing significant health inequalities, and organisations that support them, to identify and implement ways to improve access to women’s health services.
  • A new contract for sexual reproductive health and abortion services will be delivered and we will also work with emergency departments to run blood borne virus testing for things such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C as a matter of course.


In this short video, Zoe Rice, tells us about the Healthier Together partnership goal to make Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire smokefree by 2030.


How we’ll measure progress

  • Be smokefree, with less than 5% of the population smoking by 2030.
  • Adopt a Healthy Weight Declaration by mid-2025 to help us build healthier environments.
  • We will look to develop a drug and alcohol data dashboard by early 2025 to help us understand people’s experiences of services and to help us consider improvements.
  • Develop a local vaccination delivery plan by early 2025.
  • Create a women’s health system group in early 2024 and implement improvements in 2024/2025.
  • Launch a new sexual reproductive health and abortion service in 2025.

This page provides an overview. To read about our plans in detail, take a look at the full Joint Forward Plan 2024-2029.

Joint Forward Plan 2024-2029

Strategic Commitments

Align everything we do to the outcomes we want
Demonstrate our system-wide commitment to prevention
Focus on the first 1,001 days to give our children the best start
Change how we work to reduce health inequalities actively
Prioritise the health impacts of poverty and disadvantage
Build a workforce who are supported, skilled and healthy
Focus on the whole person – not just the disease
Work together as equal partners to tackle our biggest problems
Support the economy with our purchasing and employment practices
Develop a better, healthier environment for people to live in

Outcomes Framework

The healthy life expectancy of our population
The health and wellbeing of our population
The health of services
The health and wellbeing of our staff
The health and wellbeing of our communities
The health and wellbeing of our environment