This is my second Annual Public Health Report for NHS Devon and Devon County Council. Last year’s report set out a series of challenges as part of our strategy towards tackling inequalities in health. The report showed significant improvements in health and wellbeing and the narrowing gap between those living in the most deprived and least deprived areas of Devon. Chapter 11 of this report sets out our achievements against each of the recommendations from the 2007-08 Annual Public Health Report. I am pleased to report that of the 50 recommendations, 49 have either been fully achieved or activity is taking place.
My last report noted that the 2008-09 Annual Public Health Report would focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. We know that a healthy start to life is one of the main determinants of life-long health. Those of us who have a responsibility for working towards the best of health for everyone will be pleased to read this assessment of the current state of health of children and young people in Devon. As well as the need to take greater responsibility for our own health, we also have that responsibility for our children and for the children and young people living in our communities.
This report highlights where we can do more for children and young people and how we can work together to achieve better health for them. My challenge is that we still need to do more for those in society who are least able to help themselves.
I should like to acknowledge the contribution of all of my colleagues in creating the Annual Public Health Report for Devon, 2008-09 and I hope you enjoy reading it.
Dr Virginia Pearson, Joint Executive Director of Public Health