Large health inequalities across England revealed

New report shows there are stark differences in how long people in different parts of England can expect to live a healthy life. | ONS | via Cancer Research UK

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report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that people in areas with the highest healthy life expectancy will live longer without health problems than people in areas with the lowest expectancy.

Life expectancy in England has been increasing consistently since 1951, but varies by location. Men living in the least deprived areas live on average 9.2 years longer than men living in the most deprived areas. For women this gap is 7.1 years. There is an even greater difference in the quality of those years lived. Healthy life expectancy (HLE), or the number of years one could expect to live in good health, in England is 64.1 years for women and 63.4 for men.

Men living in the most deprived areas of England can expect to lead a healthy life for nearly 19 years less than men living in the least deprived.  The difference for women is 19.6 years. Heath inequalities between the north and south of England were also highlighted, as 6 of the top 7 areas with the highest healthy life expectancy were in the south, and all of the top 6 areas with the lowest expectancy were in the north.

The report looked at information on health-related lifestyle factors such as smoking, obesity, physical activity and diet.

Full report: An overview of lifestyles and wider characteristics linked to Healthy Life  Expectancy in England: June 2017 | ONS

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What makes us healthy?

The Health Foundation has published What makes us healthy?

This infographic is part of a new series of infographics and accompanying blogs and commentaries to describe and explain the social determinants of health in an accessible and engaging way. This infographic shows the extent to which health is primarily shaped by factors outside the direct influence of healthcare and invites people to look at this bigger picture.

Securing a sustainable NHS workforce for the future

A major new programme to drive better staff retention in trusts across England has been launched by NHS Improvement (NHSI).

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With recruitment and retention adding to the huge amount of pressure already facing trusts in England, the regulator hopes the project will reduce the rates of people leaving the NHS workforce by 2020.

Led by NHSI, the programme will support trust leads and staff by providing a series of masterclasses for directors of nursing and HR to discuss ways to reduce staff leaving trusts. The organisation will also work alongside NHS Employers and look into how the current national retention programme can be built on and improved.

Specific, targeted support will also be made available for mental health providers to improve retention rates of staff groups, and a tool designed to help trusts understand why staff leave will be rolled out. A series of guidance through webinars will also be implemented to improve retention rates.

Full details via NHS Improvement

Related article: NHSI to tackle staff retention challenges with new programme | National Health Executive

Improving air quality across England

Councils should do more to enforce no vehicle idling outside schools, hospitals, and care homes, to protect the vulnerable from the harmful effects of air pollution and improve air quality across England. | NICE | Public Health England | via OnMedica

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Joint guidance issued today from NICE and Public Health England (PHE) suggests bylaws to enforce engine switch-off while cars are stationary could help protect the vulnerable from the harmful effects of air pollution.

Air pollution is harmful to everyone, but some people are more at risk than others, it says: children and young teens and older people are more susceptible, as are those with respiratory conditions or heart problems. PHE estimate long-term exposure to particulate air pollution has ‘an effect equivalent to’ around 25,000 deaths a year in England, making air pollution the largest environmental risk linked to deaths every year. The health impact of air pollution caused by human activities in the UK is thought to cost between £8.5 and £18.6 billion a year.

Full story at OnMedica

Download the guidance: Air pollution: outdoor air quality and health

Start active, stay active

The Department of Health has produced a series of infographics as part of it’s ‘Start active, stay active’ series explaining the physical activity required to achieve general health benefits for different age ranges.

forest-662427_1920The following infographics relate to the report by the UK’s 4 Chief Medical Officers for the NHS, local authorities and a range of other organisations designing services to promote physical activity.

Physical activity for pregnant women

Physical activity benefits for babies and children (birth-5 years old)

Physical activity for children and young people (5-18 years old)

Physical activity benefits infographic for adults and older people

National child measurement programme operational guidance

Guidance for local commissioners, providers and schools on running the national child measurement programme (NCMP) as part of the government’s commitment to tackling the public health challenge of excess weight.

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The publication of the Childhood Obesity Plan: A Plan for Action, in August 2016 shows that tackling child obesity is a priority for the Government. The plan aims to significantly reduce England’s rate of childhood obesity within the next ten years. Most local authorities have also identified addressing childhood obesity as a key issue in their health and wellbeing strategies, and reducing obesity is prioritised in many Sustainability and Transformation Plans.

The NCMP is key to monitoring the progress of the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan. It provides the data for the Public Health Outcomes Framework indicators on “excess weight in children aged four to five years and ten to 11 years.” Because the data is valid at local level, it can also be used to inform the development and monitoring of local childhood obesity strategies.

National child measurement programme operational guidance

National child measurement programme: information for schools

STPs will need a change in law to succeed, says report

A report from London Southbank University argues that in order to deliver a better future for the NHS, all 44 STPs would need to be given legislative powers and support necessary to achieve effective collaboration, plus some much-needed clarification on their role | NHS England

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Image source: LSBU

We commissioned this report as a reality check on the Sustainability and Transformation Plan process as a whole; to provide an opportunity for review; and to reconvene around the issues that need a sub-regional approach.

This report is a significant contribution to the myths and realities of the Sustainability and Transformation Plans and the process of their development. By starting from the actual situation in each STP footprint, this report grounds the plans in the reality of the local context, and provides a firm basis for any collective decision-making. Many of the STPs (the documents) are not clear about the full extent of the current situation (the baseline from which they are making their plans), which makes the collective STP leadership task extremely difficult.