Life expectancy by Post-Code: Gloucester shows the future and spending is being cut. What better way to ignore the problem – by not collecting information.

Life expectancy is now by Post-Code: Gloucester shows the future and spending is on public health being cut. What better way to ignore the problem in future – by not collecting information. Charlie Copper reports in the Independent 6th July 2015: Budget 2015: George Osborne urged to reverse public health cuts that will leave services ‘gutted’ . It seems inevitable that the North East, Wales and pockets of inner city deprivation are going to be the people with lower life expectancy in the chancellors new healthy world – and these areas also gain the fewest places to medical school… Gloucester has no problem in comparison, and life expectancy differences in these areas are going to be greater still – but will we know it?

Kate Wilson for The Gloucester Citizen on 6th July published: Life expectancy drops 14 years in parts of Gloucester, Public Health England report finds

Those living in the most deprived areas of Gloucester are expected to live almost 14 years less than those in the most affluent, according to the latest figures.

In-depth new research from Public Health England has revealed the disparity within the city, but pledges have been made to try and redress the balance.

For residents living in Barton and Tredworth, Matson, Podsmead, Tuffley and Westgate, the areas highlighted as the most deprived, life expectancy is 13.5 years lower for men and 10.6 years lower for women than in the least deprived areas like Longlevens and Quedgeley.

It also shows that one third of the children living in poverty in the county live in Gloucester – 4,800 out of 14,600.

Councillor Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Tackling health inequalities in Gloucestershire is one of the five key priorities in our Health and Wellbeing Strategy and this is something which we take very seriously.

“We know people’s health varies across our county, just as it does right across the country, and we are working hard to do what we can to address these differences.

“Working with our partners, we help children get the best start in life by delivering breastfeeding services, healthy eating and nutrition advice, among a range of other support to people in those parts of our county who need help most.”

Both childhood and adult obesity are worse than the national average as is the number of alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18.

The rate of self-harm hospital stays, levels of adult physical activity and the rate of sexually transmitted infections are also all worse than the England average.

Lesley Williams (L, Stonehouse) who is spokesman for Public Health and Communities for the county council’s Labour group said the city’s public health profile was “extremely worrying”.

“Obesity, particularly among children, is a major problem. It can lead to serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. We cannot afford to ignore the obesity crisis,” she said.

“The council, NHS and our schools now need to double their efforts in helping everyone keep fit and active and to eat healthily.

“But we also have to go one step further and ensure that people living in deprived areas get the support they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.”

However Josie Betton, who runs the Podsmead Big Local cafe, said Podsmead is a great place to live.

“I’ve been here 20 years and am very happy. It is lacking in some aspects like a doctor’s surgery and a chemist but I don’t feel it’s a deprived area,” she said.

“What we need is a group of good people who have a passion for putting on events for the community such as fun fairs and keeping active days.”….

 

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Medical Education, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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