How healthy is Gloucestershire?
Over 4,000 people have been supported in giving up smoking from 2014-2016. Early deaths have dropped by 16 per cent in the last decade, and as a whole, Gloucestershire County Council has managed to help local people lose the equivalent of three fire engines in weight. To be exact, that’s 8,726 stones.
Sarah Scott, director of public health at Gloucestershire County Council, has published her first report which showcases how the public health grant has been spent in Gloucestershire in the years 2014-2016.
Public health is about preventing disease and helping people live healthier and longer lives by providing the information and support they need to do this. As part of this, the county has seen premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases, like heart disease and stroke, fall by 34 per cent over the last decade.
The council is responsible for improving and protecting the health and wellbeing of the local community. Between 2014 – 2016, over 16,000 free condoms were provided to under 25 year olds as part of the C-Card free condom scheme. As part of this, the amount of under 18 years old pregnancies has dropped by 63 per cent since 1998.
Overall health in Gloucestershire is good and generally better than the England average. The life expectancy of the county is significantly higher than the national average and has been rising over the last decade. However like everywhere, the health of some of our communities is not improving at the same rate as others. Almost one in four adults in the county are considered inactive, and 31 per cent of 10 – 11 year olds are overweight or obese. To combat this, the CCG and county council are co-funding the daily mile where school children take part in moving a mile during the day, whether that is running, skipping or any other form of movement.
The council is continuing to focus on prevention rather than treatment as part of the longer term plan to help people stay healthier for longer.
Sarah Scott, director of public health, said: “In my first report I wanted to demonstrate how the public health grant really has an impact on people’s lives. There is still work to be done, but there are real positives here to celebrate and some inspirational real-life stories.”
Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: “This report highlights a lot of really good results over 2014 – 2016 and I look forward to working with Sarah to continue this progress. I am glad to see the results being so positive from the choices we’ve made so far.”
If you're interested in health trends in Gloucestershire then visit Inform Gloucestershire.