Report of the Director of Children and Adults Services, Darlington Borough Council.
The Director of Public Health submitted a report (previously circulated) presenting the Director of Public Health Darlington Annual Report 2017 ‘Health Inequalities in Darlington: Narrowing the Gap’ (also previously circulated).
The submitted report stated that this was the fourth annual report following the transfer of public health responsibilities from the NHS to local government, as part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012; good health was unevenly distributed across the country, region and town; life expectancy for those living in the North of England had started to slow down and in some cases reverse; the report explored the breadth and extent of the health gaps within Darlington; and proposed measures to narrow those gaps.
Dr Malcolm Moffat, Specialty Registrar, Public Health, in presenting the Director of Public Health Darlington Annual Report 2017 ‘Health Inequalities in Darlington: Narrowing the Gap’, highlighted the link between health and wider determinants including housing, income, education, employment and the environment; provided a walk-through of Darlington’s ‘life course’ approach, which highlighted the inequalities in existence within Darlington; outlined the life expectancy gap between the richest and poorest wards in Darlington, which was almost twelve years; stated that the average number of years of good health was a way of measuring inequalities; and that health inequalities were preventable.
Particular reference was made to the recommendations contained with the Director of Public Health’s Annual Report under each of the ‘life course’ approaches, namely Starting Well, Living and Working Well and Healthy Ageing, aimed at addressing those health inequalities.
Discussion ensued on the importance of prevention and intervention; cultural change; education; the need to engage better across all organisations and listen to the ‘community’ voice; and for those organisations not to work in isolation. Reference was also made to the work already being undertaken by a number of organisations within Darlington to ensure the views of the community were captured.
A member of the public in attendance at the meeting raised concerns in respect of the statistics relating to tooth decay of five year olds in Darlington within the Director of Public Health Darlington Annual Report 2017 ‘Health Inequalities in Darlington: Narrowing the Gap’. The Director of Public Health responded thereon to the accuracy and timeliness of the data.
RESOLVED – That the contents of the Director of Public Health Darlington Annual Report 2017, entitled ‘Health Inequalities in Darlington: Narrowing the Gap’ as appended to the submitted report, be noted.
REASON – The Health and Social Care Act 2012 stipulates the responsibility of the Director of Public Health to provide an annual report and for Council’s to publish that report.