NHS Birmingham and Solihull has signed the Birmingham Faith Covenant along with other public sector anchor organisations in the city.
The covenant is described as “a joint commitment between faith communities and key statutory and voluntary sector organisations to a set of principles that guide engagement”, with an aim to “improve collaborative partnerships and to promote open, practical working on all levels”.
The principles include ensuring excellence in child protection, health and safety, accountability and transparency; seeking opportunities to bring people together to serve the community; working in partnership to safeguard, support and protect the vulnerable; and serving all local residents equal access to public services.
A future workplan for all signatory organisations is to capture strategic priorities and outcomes with the intent of making the city prosperous, inclusive, safe, green and healthy. On that note, the workplan is to focus on “tackling health inequalities, encouraging physical activity and healthy living, supporting mental health and improving outcomes for adults with disabilities and older people”.
Salma Yaqoob, Health Inequalities Programme Director for NHS Birmingham and Solihull, said: “Signing the covenant reflects our strong commitment to ensuring the voices of faith communities are heard – something that is vital as we work together with our partners across Birmingham and Solihull to reduce health inequalities.”
She highlighted that the commitments in the covenant are “things we’ve already signed up to do as an organisation and as part of an integrated care system” and added that it is a way of “cementing our commitment and strengthening relationships in the faith community to ensure that people of faith play a key role in shaping the way health and social care services are developed and delivered.”