The purpose of this report is to provide an update to the Board on key Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) indicators.
The Director of Public Health introduced the update. TheConsultant in Public Health was also present to assist in responding to questions from the Board. The paper set out an overview of key health indicators. There had been very positive developments in some areas since the last report. This included a downward trend in the number of people in Medway dying from cancer aged under 75 and an increase in the number of people using green spaces and being more physically active.
Smoking prevalence in Medway amongst persons aged 16 and over had fallen from 25.5% in 2013 to 22.3% in 2015 to 19% 2016. Smoking at time of delivery had fallen from 19.8% in 2011 to 17.9% in 2015 to 16.7% in 2016/17. Smoking prevalence levels remained higher than the English average for both groups but were falling faster. The Director of Public Health had recently met NHS England and Public Health England to discuss concerns with regards to the uptake of child immunisation against infectious diseases. A Recovery Programme had been put in place and would be monitored.
Reducing incidence of non-communicable disease would form part of the prevention workstream within the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Plan with there needing to be an ‘industrialisation’ of prevention in order for the number of people living with long term conditions to be significantly reduced.
A Board Member asked whether there were any known health risks associated with the smoking of e-cigarettes and asked whether figures were available for its prevalence. He also questioned why the appendix of the report contained no figures for after 2013 in relation to breastfeeding initiation continuation and whether health data was available for a smaller geographic area than ward level.
Officers advised that a statement from Public Health England said that no health risks had been identified in relation to e-cigarettes so far but that there was a possibility of risks being identified in the future. Figures would be obtained for the number of people smoking e-cigarettes for circulation to the Board. In relation to breastfeeding continuation statistics, NHS Digital required that 95% or more of births in an area had data for this metric in order for figures to be reported. The figure for Medway was currently 76%. It was confirmed that local data would be included in the next report to Board even if no comparator data was available. Lower Layer Super Output Area (LLSOA) data, which covered a smaller geographic area than a ward was being developed and it was agreed that an example would be circulated to the Board.
A Board Member cautioned that people using green spaces for exercise tended to fluctuate by season. They also advised that the Council had purchased a number of properties over the last few months in order to provide temporary accommodation. Figures for young people who were NEET (not in education, employment or training) were consistently high. One possible way to help address this was through the use of the Council’s procurement process to encourage employers to employ people within this group.
The Board considered and commented on the indicator update.