Agenda item

Medway Health and Wellbeing Survey

The purpose of this report is to inform the Board about the Medway Health and Wellbeing (“Picture of Medway”). This survey has been conducted to provide a detailed picture of the health and wellbeing of the people of Medway, including the impact of COVID-19. The results of the survey will be used to inform the development of the next Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and other work.






The Deputy Director of Public Health (DDPH) introduced the report. He said that a number of key indicators in the Medway’s Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) came from data collected as part of national surveys, which were designed to provide robust estimates at the local authority level as a whole. The Medway health and wellbeing survey was, on the other hand, able to provide more granular estimates for individual areas within Medway and thus would be more useful in understanding its health inequalities.


He continued that this was achieved by random sampling of 6% of all residential properties from each neighbourhood in Medway. The preliminary results indicated that the respondents, i.e. a total 3,536 (44.2%) people, were a very good match to the Medway population in terms of distributions by age, gender and deprivation deciles. The Public Health Intelligence team was currently preparing the dataset for future analyses. The DDPH advised that initial report with key findings should be available in the autumn.


The following issues were discussed:


Census 2021 – on whether the data collected would be cross-compared with those from the Census 2021, the DDPH said that data from the different elements of the Census 2021 would be released over the next year, with the first release coming this summer and comparisons would be made to the survey. As more data were released, this would allow the adjustment of any weightings during the analysis.


Survey frequency – as regards the frequency of undertaking the health and wellbeing survey, the DDPH advised that the initial thinking was to conduct the survey once every five years to capture the demographic changes. However, it might be more frequent if proved necessary. A Board member considered five years the right time to refresh the data which might then last longer.


Ward data – a Board member pointed out that the data collected and compiled on a ward basis would be a useful reference, particularly to new Members. He also asked whether the changes in ward boundaries would affect how useful the data were. The DDPH explained that the sample was based on LSOAs, i.e. “lower level super output areas,” which was a unit of geography defined by the Office for National Statistics that usually had about 1,700 people. Wards were built up of LSOAs and the Council would therefore be able to present data based on the new wards. He also said that with an advanced statistical approach, it might be possible to provide ward and sub-ward estimates.


Way forward – there was a concern about actions to be taken having noted robust estimates of adult obesity and smoking prevalence and the areas where the need was greatest. The DDPH responded that the survey would help to direct educational messages and supporting services to those in most need. A Board member expressed appreciation about the progress made by Medway in respect of reducing adult obesity and smoking prevalence which had become good practices in neighbouring places. Another Board member considered the government should step up relevant penalties to deter the selling of illicit tobacco by shops which re-opened their businesses after the 60-day closure order.


During the discussion, Dame Eileen Sills, the CCG Rep, left the meeting which continued without a quorum.(Note: the Board’s terms of reference require a CCG representative to be present – Dame Eileen Sills was the nominated representative to attend this meeting in place of Paul Bentley)



The Health and Wellbeing Board informally noted the preliminary findings of the “Picture of Medway” survey and gave due regard to the points raised at the meeting.


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