We’re in good health!
Release date: 12 September 2016
Public Health England has just published a review covering all areas in England, and the profile for Cotswold District indicates that the health of residents is generally better than the national average. Cotswold is described as being one of the 20% least deprived districts/unitary authorities in England, and life expectancy for both men and women is higher than average, regardless of whether they live in the most affluent or the most deprived areas of the District.
Cllr Alison Coggins, Cabinet Member for Health and Leisure at Cotswold District Council, is very pleased to note this positive assessment:
“It’s generally assumed that living in a rural area is better for your health, and the latest profile for the District confirms that the wellbeing of residents in the Cotswolds is better than the norm. There are many positives to take from this profile, including the fact that we have lower rates of hospital stays which are related to alcohol consumption and self-harm. There are also fewer smoking-related and deaths and less than average rates for sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, incidences of violent crime, long term unemployment, and early deaths from cardiovascular diseases and cancer are lower than average, while GCSE attainment and breastfeeding initiation are higher.”
However, she pointed out that there are still issues that need to be addressed:
“The profile indicates that over 16% (110) of Year 6 school children are classified as obese. Also the rate of people being killed or seriously injured on roads in the district is worse than the national average. Figures also show that there are pockets of deprivation in what is normally seen as an affluent part of the country with about 9% (1200) of children living in low income families.
“Working with medical practices across the District, and with our local authority partners across the county we will continue to tackle health inequalities and mental health issues, as well as reducing obesity and alcohol-related harm. Road safety is also a perennial problem with our vast network of A class and country roads posing substantial risks, and we support all efforts by the police and County Council to reduce accidents.”
Cllr Jim Parsons, the CDC Ward Member for Grumbolds Ash and Avening, has worked closely in the past with a number of bodies such as the Gloucestershire Healthy Living Partnership and Cirencester Age Concern, and he is very upbeat about the latest profile for the District:
“Country life is obviously good for you! On average men in the Cotswolds are living beyond the age of 80 and women beyond the age of 85. There will always be room for improvement – and the incidence of childhood obesity is a cause for concern – but the clear message is that this is a good location to live, work and play.”
Local health priorities for Gloucestershire are informed by a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, and priorities are set out in the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Strategy (2012 -2032).