North East Lincolnshire Council

Public Health Bulletin – 7 to 11 October 2019

Starting and Developing Well

 

Assessing the Impact of Rising Child Poverty on the Unprecedented Rise in Infant Mortality in England, 2000–2017: Time Trend Analysis

Infant mortality rate has risen for the last 4 years in England, yet it is unclear what the role of increasing levels of child poverty have had in explaining these trends. The report notes that this rise had occurred particularly among more disadvantaged children from routine and manual socioeconomic groups, whilst at the same time, rising infant mortality is unusual in high-income countries.  This report provides evidence that the unprecedented rise in infant mortality disproportionately affected the poorest areas of the country, leaving the more affluent areas unaffected. The analysis also linked the recent increase in infant mortality in England with rising child poverty, suggesting that about a third of the increase in infant mortality from 2014 to 2017 may be attributed to rising child poverty.  Report

 

Living Well

 

Psychological Perspectives on Obesity: Addressing Policy, Practice and Research Priorities

Obesity has received much attention from politicians, policymakers, healthcare professionals, the media and the public over the past few decades. Indeed, since the formal recognition from the UK government in 1991 that obesity was a sufficient threat to the health of the nation to warrant a targeted response, addressing the issue has been a policy priority for almost thirty years.  This paper suggests that individuals who are most likely to be an unhealthy weight are those who have a high genetic risk of developing obesity and whose lives are also shaped by work, school and social environments that promote overeating and inactivity. However, the paper goes on to explain that people who live in deprived areas often experience high levels of stress, including major life challenges and trauma, often their neighbourhoods offer few opportunities and incentives for physical activity and options for accessing affordable healthy food are limited and difficult.  More progressive and forward looking Public health campaigns targeting weight management should be more effective by avoiding framing obesity as a simple ‘choice’ and using psychological evidence and expertise to design campaigns, and that managers and commissioners should ensure that services, premises and equipment should minimise the risk of increasing stigma.  Paper

Supporting the Health Needs of those who are Experiencing Rough Sleeping

Tackling rough sleeping has long been a priority for successive governments. According to the latest official statistics, rough sleeping in England has increased by 165 per cent since the autumn of 2010. Whilst the current number of 4,677 is down two per cent in a year, the overall long-term trend is of a vast increase in rough sleeping across the country. Almost half of all councils have reported an increase in people sleeping rough in their area. The Government has set the ambition of halving rough sleeping over the course of the parliament and eliminating it altogether by 2027. To do that, its 2018 Rough Sleeping Strategy focuses on prevention, intervention and recovery.  Website and case studies

 

Tackling Modern Slavery: Council Case Studies

Modern slavery is a crime and as a result it is often hidden but, because it is all around us, it is often referred to as being ‘hidden in plain sight’. Despite the efforts of many statutory and voluntary sector bodies to raise awareness, there are still many people in the UK who do not understand that slavery is still with us now, and in many very unpleasant forms.  The case studies in this document build on the detailed guidance we published in 2017, and on the modern slavery workshops which we have held around the country.  Case studies

 

Ageing Well

 

Place-Making with Older Adults: Towards Age-Friendly Cities and Communities

‘Age-Friendly Cities and Communities’ are those that have policies, services and structures that enable older people to ‘age actively’ – that is, live in good security, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in society.  This research explores how to develop urban environments that can best support sense of place amongst older adults living in diverse urban areas. By sense of place thee mean the physical, social and community resources needed to enable older adults to feel valued in their community, to facilitate a sense of belonging, to enable a sense of identity (sense of self in relation to others) and to develop a sense of place attachment (to people and place).   Research

 

Healthy Places

 

Planning Guidance on new Hot Food Takeaways in the City of Wolverhampton

A number of Council are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of its residents, workers and visitors. This commitment is further articulated through a Hot Food Takeaway Supplementary Planning Document, which aims to reduce the trends towards increasing levels of obesity and poor diet of residents by tackling issues of over-concentration of Hot Food Takeaways and the exposure of particularly vulnerable groups, such as school children, to Hot Food Takeaways.  This Planning Document aims to achieve an economically viable balance between Hot Food Takeaways and other retail across the City, and contribute towards reducing increasing levels of obesity and poor diet. It addresses issues of over-concentration of Hot Food Takeaways and exposure of particularly vulnerable groups such as school children to opportunity purchases of fast food. Choice, demand and current provision remain largely unaffected by this policy, which aims to strike a balance of interests and issues in the granting of new planning permissions for Hot Food Takeaways.  Guidance

 

Inclusive by default

Many independent inquiries into regional inequalities has highlighted significant regional variation in deprivation, educational attainment, health outcomes and skills. The Social Mobility Commission demonstrated the existence of social mobility “cold spots” in rural and coastal areas across the country and other more deprived communities have been left behind often with poorer health outcomes, lower educational attainment and fewer job opportunities. According to many actors in Government, the Department for Health and other health promoting organisations, ‘digital’ services have the potential to support these communities. Sound public service transformation enabled by technology can facilitate more convenient and efficient transactions between citizens and government.  This report examines the services and ways in which the government and other organisations are intending to provide services, that, in their words, are easily accessible, responsive to the needs of citizens, and reflective of how citizens want to interact with services in the modern world. Their resulting belief in “government services wherever you are” has led to a digital-by-default approach to both information provision and transactions.  However, the report suggests that many of those that it is intended to be supported by the digital revolution are exclusion from the online world. This is largely due to a symptom of social and economic deprivation. Approximately five million adults are digitally excluded in the UK and are often marginalised due to education, employment, disability, or age. This means that the most vulnerable individuals in society, who could see the greatest benefit from the implementation of digital public services, are typically those least able to utilise them. The roll-out of Universal Credit, which is largely an online service, has demonstrated how problematic digital exclusion can be. The report advocates the removal of the barriers to digital inclusion and that digital public services should work for those who are most dependent upon them. This crucial to ensuring that the digitisation of public services does not further advance inequality. Report

 

Creating Healthy Lives: A Whole-Government Approach to Long-Term Investment in the Nation’s Health

The health of the population is one of any nation’s greatest assets. Good health improves people’s wellbeing, their productive capacity and their ability to participate in society. Yet a healthier population cannot be achieved by focusing solely on the treatment of illness. In fact, the strongest determinants of health are the social, economic, commercial and environmental conditions in which people live. Unless there is sufficient government attention paid to these wider determinants of health, major improvements in health and reductions in health inequalities will not be possible.  This paper suggests that we need to move towards securing a future where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the best possible health, this requires specific policy actions and investment in the right areas, but it also needs mechanisms that embed health and health equalities as a shared value across government and beyond. This requires government to show the necessary political will and leadership, to harness the full potential of opportunities in existing legislation, and to put in place structures that can counteract tendencies towards short-term decision-making and focus on a narrow range of issues.  Paper

 

The Upstream Determinants of Health

Michael Marmot, author of the 2010 Marmot Review, and Elias Nosrati discuss the effects of punitive social policy and austerity on health equity in the USA and Europe.  Podcast

 

Can You Turn Around the Health of an Entire Town?

Fleetwood is a place where lives have been blighted by illness and people were dying younger. Advocates for Fleetwood believe that they can turn this round by starting from the bottom up – not by dictating what needed to happen but by encouraging and supporting residents to take control of their own health, and in doing so, their own lives. This article describe the problem and what they are doing to reduce it.  Article

 

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