29 Jun 2011

Stroud's health profile

As a councillor we get many papers and reports sent along with all sorts of emails. One of those that arrives each year is the 'Health Profiles' produced by the English Public Health Observatories. This gives an overview of health for each district in the country. So how are we doing?

Well the health of people in Stroud is generally better than the England average. Deprivation is lower than average, however we still have a whopping 2,530 children who live in poverty. This is wholly unacceptable and worse still this figure looks set to grow. I read also today that social care spending for the elderly and the disabled faces does mean "devastating" cuts despite what the government has said. New research by Age UK shows that funding for services for the over 65's will drop by £610 Million or by 8.4% this year. I have already blogged on fuel poverty and all this is adding up to growing inequality and our most vulnerable members of our communities facing the hardest cuts.

The report shows our life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average - but 4.7 years lower for men in the most deprived areas of Stroud than in the least deprived areas. Over the last 10 years, all cause mortality rates have fallen. Early death rates from cancer, heart disease and stroke have all fallen and are better than the England average.

The figures also show that about 14.7% of Year 6 children are classified as obese. 55.0% of pupils spend at least three hours each week on school sport. 75.9% of mothers initiate breast feeding and 15.1% of expectant mothers smoke during pregnancy. An estimated 14.2% of adults smoke and 24.4% are obese. There were 2,032 hospital stays for alcohol related harm in 2009/10 and there are 169 deaths from smoking each year. See Stroud's statistics here.

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