Plymouth’s new approach to reducing health inequalities by encouraging behaviour change is the focus of a new report.
Plymouth City Council’s latest Director of Public Health (DPH) Annual Report is the first to be produced since the launch of Thrive Plymouth, an innovative ten year programme.
Thrive Plymouth focuses on four lifestyle behaviours – smoking, excessive drinking, inactivity and an unhealthy diet – which, together, lead to four chronic illnesses – cancer, heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease – which together account for 54% of deaths in Plymouth. As well as the focus on the four behaviours, the first year of Thrive Plymouth has been focused on workplace wellbeing, working with local businesses and other employers to enable staff to make healthier choices. The second year will be based around schools.
A Thrive Plymouth launch event was held in November 2014 attended by 100 city leaders, businesses and institutions and the Leader of the Council. Since the launch around 370 health checks have been delivered in workplaces, while a number of businesses have signed up to the Workplace Wellbeing Charter. Thrive Plymouth has also been involved with the Plymouth Business Show and with the Chamber of Commerce.
The new DPH Annual Report gives a range of information on the health inequalities across the city highlighting the ten year gap in life expectancy that exist between those who live in Devonport and those who live in Gooswell.
Professor Kelechi Nnoaham, Director of Public Health for Plymouth City Council, said: “This is my first DPH Report since I joined Plymouth City Council last year and the first chance for us to give a progress report on our Thrive Plymouth initiative.
“The health of people in Plymouth is determined by a number of factors but behavioural choices (often associated with people’s social and economic conditions) exert a dominant effect.
“Even small changes to behaviour can make a big difference and it is up to all of us – communities, the voluntary sector, the public sector, businesses and policy makers – to collaborate in fundamentally different ways to enable people to make healthy choices.
“It is also about linking public health and Thrive Plymouth with other strategic initiatives such as the Plymouth Plan, the new single strategic plan for Plymouth, looking ahead to 2031 and beyond.”
Other highlights of the DPH Annual Report include:
- Updates on specific public health workstreams in the city, from the Plymouth Strategic Alcohol Plan, to stop smoking and tobacco initiatives, to ensuring healthier catering is available at leisure and cultural facilities, to work the Council is doing with other key partners to increase uptake of physical activity in the city, to the Plymouth Food Charter.
- Thrive Plymouth Dashboard – this ranks the 20 Plymouth electoral wards according to their Index of Multiple Deprivation 2010 score (the current official measure of deprivation). It also includes ward by ward information on life expectancy and wellbeing, death rates, physical activity, healthy diet, smoking and drinking.
- Information on schools related behaviour survey and the adult wellbeing survey.
- A range of infographics, maps and charts which illustrate health inequalities across the city.
- Advice and guidance on some of the things local people can do to improve their own health.
- Poster showing highlights of some of the public health progress made in Plymouth.
More information is available at www.plymouth.gov.uk/thrive
You can read the Director of Public Health Annual Report 2014/15 here.