We now have available more data about the health of our population and factors relating to health than we have ever had before. Bringing Public Health into the council gives a wonderful opportunity to enhance our understanding of our population’s current health and health needs through combining the data held by different departments within the council with that held by other organisations: the NHS, voluntary sector and so on.
Many of these data are publicly available in different formats (for example, the Public Health Outcomes Framework and locality profiles produced by Public Health England and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessments produced locally for the Health and Wellbeing Board).
However, these reports and databases are not always easily accessible to a wider audience. The aim of this report is to provide an overview of the health of Peterborough in a format that will be easily accessible to a general audience.
Peterborough, along with the rest of the United Kingdom, has seen significant improvements in life expectancy over recent decades. However, the gains in life expectancy have not been uniform across the country and there can be variations between areas that are geographically close –even within Peterborough.
While life expectancy has increased, the years of life lived in full health have not increased to the same extent with the result that we can now expect to spend the last twenty years or so of life in declining health. This results in reduced quality of life for individuals and their families and also places an unsustainable burden on health and social care services.
We know that by reducing lifestyle risk factors across our population (smoking, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity, drinking too much alcohol) we could significantly reduce the burden of ill health. This report illustrates how these risk factors currently impact on the health of people in Peterborough and outlines some of the interventions that could reduce this.
Dr Henrietta Ewart
Interim Director of Public Health