Devon Annual Public Health Report 2016-17

This year’s annual report on the health of the people of Devon takes as its theme place-based public health. The report considers the different aspects of place in relation to health and wellbeing and the role of public sector bodies with a responsibility for health and care systems. The concept of place fits well alongside public health because so many of the things which influence or health and wellbeing are related to where we live, and what impact that has on how we live. The report considers how places affect our health and wellbeing, and what opportunity there may be for place-based approaches to change the way we plan, commission and provide health and care services.

Public health priorities

While indicators of health and wellbeing in Devon compare favourably to national, regional and local authority comparator areas, there needs to be a continued focus on giving children the best start in life, and maintaining health and wellbeing throughout adolescence, adulthood into older age.

Based on our population demography and predicted trends in disease, the following determinants of health, and healthcare conditions, require continued focus, especially where inequalities exist within our communities:

  1. Smoking
  2. Obesity and overweight
  3. Poor dietary habits leading to physical and oral health problems
  4. Inactivity and lack of physical fitness
  5. Mental ill-health, poor emotional wellbeing and loneliness
  6. Excessive alcohol consumption
  7. Drug abuse
  8. Risk-taking in sexual health
  9. Domestic and sexual violence and abuse
  10. Excessive exposure of the skin to the sun causing skin damage and skin cancer
  11. Injury from slips, trips and falls
  12. Late diagnosis and sub-optimal treatment of long-term conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, arthritis and dementia including low ‘flu immunisation rates
  13. Late diagnosis and sub-optimal treatment of cancers
  14. Poor air quality
  15. Lack of availability of quality affordable housing

Dr Virginia Pearson, Chief Officer for Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity

Devon Annual Public Health Report, 2016-17 (3mb)