Fenland is a district that has clear ‘health inequalities’ says report

Public Health England have published a new profile for Fenland.
Public Health England have published a new profile for Fenland.

One fifth (20 per cent) of all Year 6 children in Fenland are classified as obese, the number of people being hospitalised for self-harm is higher than the national average and there are now more children living in poverty than there were three years ago.

They are just some of the findings in the latest Health Profile for the district published by Public Health England.

The results are included in a report due to go to Fenland Council’s overview and scrutiny committee when it discusses the authority’s latest health strategy - which will determine what action is needed to improve the well-being of the local population for the next three years.

The committee, which meets on August 21, will discuss the findings and is being asked to approve a draft health strategy to tackle the issues raised.

The strategy will then go out to public consultation towards the end of summer with a view to it being adopted by the end of the year.

Public Health England’s Health Profile was published last month and shows that 174 children in Year 6 - that’s 10 and 11 year olds are obese.

On adult health the report states the rate of alcohol-related hospital stays is worse than the average for England - 729 stays in 2015/16.

The rate of self-harm hospital stays is also worse than the national average with 293 stays in 2015/16.

More of Fenland’s adults are overweight, smoke and are physically inactive compared to the England average - on the positive side the rates of sexually transmitted infections and TB are better and so are rates of violent crime and long term unemployment.

Fewer Fenland mums choose to breastfeed compared not only nationally but also within Cambridgeshire and the rates of death caused by heart disease in the under 75s is also high.

Public Health England recommend the local priorities are to focus on health lifestyles to reduce the rates of heart disease and diabetes, meeting the needs of an ageing population and improve partnership working.

The report to the overview and scrutiny committee says Fenland is a district with clear “health inequalities compared to the rest of Cambridgeshire”.

Health issues such as smoking prevalence, excess weight, coronary heart disease and alcohol related issues are worse than the county average in some of Fenland’s wards.

The 2014 health strategy focused on raising the profile of the council health services and at building closer working with public health partners.

It says: “The new strategy for 2017-20 brings together cross service plans and projects to address the health inequalities which remain in many of Fenland’s wards. The plan focuses on close working with public health colleagues and assigns a lead for each of the proposed actions.”