I present to you my Annual Report on the health of the people of Devon, and my recommendations for improving health and wellbeing.
This is my fifth report for NHS Devon and Devon County Council. My previous reports focused on specific areas of health and wellbeing, namely inequalities in health (the report for 2007-08), children and young people (2008-09), mental health (2009-10) and older people (2010-11).
In this report we have taken the opportunity, at this time of the celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s accession to the throne 60 years ago, to look back over those six decades at health and wellbeing in Devon and to review the extent to which health and healthcare has changed during that time.
We have much to be grateful for – advances in science, technology and medicines have extended our lifespan and enabled the creation of cures where previously none existed.
At the same time, the effects of increasing wealth in society have been felt too – although our quality of life has improved, we are now seeing the consequences of a less physically active society and one which consumes excessive fast foods and alcohol.
For those readers who enjoy local history, I hope that the information contained within this report proves interesting and helps to form part of the record of our progress over the last 60 years. At this time, we should also reflect on the contribution that NHS staff have made over the years to the continuing improvements to our health.
Dr Virginia Pearson, Joint Executive Director of Public Health