Public health

Diabetes in London

The London Assembly Health Committee has produced a report looking at the particular challenges the capital faces in dealing with diabetes and calling for improved public engagement programmes around the issue. The report; ‘Blood Sugar Rush - Diabetes Time Bomb in London’ shows that there has been an estimated 75% increase in Type 2 diabetes in the capital over the last decade.

Government plans for mental health

The Government has published details of its efforts to bring parity to mental health provision and acute care. The proposals include a focus on wellbeing and the provision of a wide range of therapies, as well as funds to challenge the stigma attached to mental ill health.  The report also looks at inequalities of provision in mental health care particularly for older people, military veterans and people in the criminal justice system.

Resource for child health inequalities

Public Health England has published ‘Child Health Profiles 2014’, a picture of child health and wellbeing for each local authority in England using 32 key health indicators from levels of childhood obesity, MMR immunisation rates, teenage pregnancy and underage drinking, to hospital admissions, educational performance and youth crime.

Challenging health inequalities

Public Health England is launching a national consultation about health inequalities to gain an insight into public attitudes to health and wellbeing. The consultation is designed to assess different attitudes nationally and attempt to find ways of tackling health inequalities. The consultation includes public events and workshops to explore local solutions that may help to mitigate inequalities and this knowledge will be collated for dissemination via a number of means both locally and nationally.

National obesity figures

New local authority excess weight data published by Public Health England (PHE) shows that 64% of adults are overweight or obese. The data also shows considerable variation in the numbers of people who are overweight or obese in different parts of England. The rate of increase in overweight and obese adults has slowed in recent years and in children, levels are stabilising but the research highlights that local authorities and the NHS face in tackling obesity in the UK. Overall health problems associated with being overweight or obese cost the NHS over £5 billion each year.

New public health tool

Public Health England has published the most up to date snapshot of inequalities in life expectancy at local authority level. Its “segment tool” is designed to help identify causes of death that contribute most to life expectancy gaps. The tool shows the gaps between individual local authorities and the country as a whole and also shows the scale of disparity within each local authority. Predictably there are huge differences between different London boroughs with life expectancy varying by as much as 20 years between different wards within the capital.

London’s independent Health Commission

The Mayor of London has established a new independent London Health Commission to come up with innovative ways to meet the city’s health and healthcare needs. The Commission, chaired by Lord Ara Darzi, is looking at four specific themes. These are: improving the quality and integration of care; enabling high quality and integrated care delivery; healthy lives and reducing inequalities; health economy, research and education.

Design guidance for A and E

The Design Council has completed the pilot of a two pronged design approach to curbing incidents of violence and aggression in Accident and Emergency. The design approach involves the implementation of a cohesive signage system and a programme of support for staff. The pilot (at St George’s in Tooting and at Southampton Hospital) found that threatening body language and aggressive behaviour had been halved and offensive language and swearing had reduced by 23%. The Council is calling for the approach to be rolled out nationally.  

Links between economic inequality and diet and physical activity

Public Health England has produced a new report examining the links between social and economic inequalities and poor health as a result of diet and physical activity.

Public Health England launches new data portal

Public Health England has launched a new online portal providing access to over 100 tools covering a full range of public health information. The tools serve a range of public health information needs, including the commissioning and planning of services, joint strategic needs assessment, health surveillance, understanding inequalities and variation, research and evidence.

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