New report reveals state of health in Derbyshire

A new report reveals how the health of people in Derbyshire compares to those living elsewhere in the country.

The Public Health England study will help Derbyshire County Council monitor the success of public health campaigns and plan new steps to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.

Levels of deprivation, child poverty, homelessness and violent crime are all way below the national average according to the report. And generally local people enjoy better health than those who live in other parts of the country.

Derbyshire County Council took over responsibility for public health this year and is investing in services that support people who are most at risk of illness and injury.

These include promoting breastfeeding, helping people tackle drug addiction, preventing falls among older people, encouraging active lifestyles and promoting the importance of good nutrition for children.

But the study highlights areas where the council could do more to encourage people to eat more healthily, drink less alcohol and stop smoking, particularity during pregnancy.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said: “While it’s good news that Derbyshire is a healthy place to live and work, we are going to do even more to tackle the areas that need attention.”

The council plans to help people adopt healthier lifestyles and has agreed additional funding to support local priorities. These include:

* Providing free health screening for people aged between 40 and 74 for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

* Introducing new wellbeing workers, responsible for helping people to adopt healthy lifestyles

* Clamping down on the sale of illicit tobacco

Councillor Allen added: ‘There is a seven year life expectancy gap between the least and most deprived areas of the county. That’s why we are putting in place a number of initiatives to help people who are struggling to cope with the rising cost of living.”

The council is continuing to fund Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) sessions in GP surgeries and extending CAB to all children’s centres to help families who are being particularly hit by austerity measures.

Local credit unions have received a £300,000 grant to help them extend their instant loans scheme, and the council has awarded a further £108,000 to local food banks to support people with emergency food parcels.

These are some of the initiatives designed to address the causes of ill health such as poverty, financial insecurity and the stress that these problems can cause.