The latest annual report from East Sussex Director of Public Health Dr Diana Grice ‘Health and Well-being in East Sussex’, sets out six key health priorities for East Sussex, examines lifestyle trends over the last twenty years and reviews the most effective ways healthcare professionals can help behaviour change in areas such as smoking, exercise and mental wellbeing.
The report will now be used to help plan services that prevent illness, reduce health inequalities and enable local people to live longer, healthier lives.
The report is based on a clear understanding of the health needs of the local population and a solid evidence base of what services and support are most effective.
It sets out the six key health priorities for East Sussex where action should be focused to improve health and reduce health inequalities across the county:
1. life expectancy and the wider determinants of health;
2. chronic disease, cancer and mental health;
3. improving and protecting health by encouraging healthy lifestyle;
4. older people;
5. accidents and falls;
6. end of life care.
In addition the report provides new insight into current lifestyle behaviours of East Sussex residents. Some of the highlights from the report include:
· At an electoral ward level, in East Sussex, the gap between the two wards with the lowest and highest life expectancy is just over 15 years for all persons (2005-2008).
· Across the county, circulatory diseases, cancer and respiratory diseases are the three main contributors to the life expectancy gap between the most and the least income deprived areas, but there is variation at district and borough level.
· In 1992, 26% of people in East Sussex were smokers and in 2011 this has decreased to 18%. Hastings (25%) and Eastbourne (20%) have the highest percentage of smokers.
· The percentage of people drinking alcohol has not increased between 1992 and 2011. However, the percentage of those that drink and are classified as ‘increasing risk’ or ‘higher risk’ has increased. So, drinkers are drinking more.
· 33% of East Sussex people reported having a long-standing illness, disability or health problem, in 2011 compared to 28% in 1992.
· Physical activity has increased. Compared to 2003, fewer people in East Sussex in 2011 never exercise/exercise less than one day a month. Both Lewes and Wealden have had a statistically significant increase in the percentage of people who exercise 5 or more days per week.
· Fruit and vegetable consumption has gone up since 2003, and the consumption of the recommended 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day has significantly increased at an East Sussex level.
· Compared to 2003 there has been a significant increase in the percentage of people in East Sussex that think they are the right weight. However, 52% of people still think they are overweight.
The report also presents a review of effective interventions to bring about behaviour change in relation to a number of lifestyle choices which have a significant impact on our health, including smoking, misuse of alcohol and drugs, lack of exercise, poor diet, accident prevention and mental wellbeing.
For each of these lifestyle choices, the report outlines what effective support and services are already in place in East Sussex and what effective interventions need to be put in place to further develop what is available.
Dr Grice said:
“This report will be used to draw up clear plans to further improve people’s health and enable them to lead longer and happier lives.
The report tells us a great deal about our local population. While it is clear that in many ways people are healthier than they were, there are still things we can all do to improve our health and well-being.
“Helping people to lead healthy lifestyles requires us all to work together with a range of partners to design services to improve people’s health.”
For online advice on healthy living, including exercise, diet and the risks of drinking too much alcohol visit www.nhs.uk/livewell
Notes to Editor
· The full report can be downloaded at http://www.eastsussexjsna.org.uk/publichealthreports.aspx
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Jamie Whitburn at NHS Sussex on 01273 403595 or Jamie.firstname.lastname@example.org .
Your four local NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) have joined forces to become NHS Sussex. The Sussex PCT Cluster represents NHS West Sussex, NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald, NHS Hastings and Rother, and NHS Brighton and Hove.
NHS Sussex is committed to commissioning high quality healthcare services for the people of Sussex. We also support our emerging clinical commissioning groups as they prepare to take on commissioning responsibilities in the future, as well as maintaining relationships with partner organisations.