Saturday 27 November 2021
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Nottingham

Life expectancy at birth for Nottingham women second worst in England

Nottingham’s Public Health director says there are some “shocking challenges” ahead as female life expectancy in the city is one of the worst in the country.

Lucy Hubber told a board of health officials, councillors, and council officers, that life expectancy for women in Nottingham sits at 54-years-old.

She said this is the second lowest in the country just behind Blackpool, which is the “most deprived place in England.”

She said it was time to build an effective plan to tackle health inequality up to March 2025.

She said women in Nottingham were now living a third of their life in ill health compared to other core cities.

“We have some shocking challenges for ourselves in Nottingham,” she told the Health and Wellbeing Board on Wednesday, November 24.

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Tobacco use is the leading cause of death and disability across Nottingham, followed by high-body mass index, which refers to residents suffering with weight problems.

Diabetes, poor diets, high blood pressure, as well as alcohol and drug use are some of the other reasons contributing to an early death.

Residents living in the poorest areas of Nottingham are dying 12 years earlier than those in the most affluent areas.

Areas deemed as more deprived include Bulwell, Radford and Hyson Green.

But Mrs Hubber said apart from two wards in the city, the whole of Nottingham’s “deprivation is significant.”

The ongoing Covid pandemic has “exacerbated those long-standing inequalities in income, health and opportunity in Nottingham,” the board said.

Figures showed 40 per cent of Year 6 children in Nottingham are overweight and 20 per cent of Nottingham’s adult population are smokers.

She said this adds to the hospital admission rate in the city.

A new Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWBS) is now set to be created to address the problems.

The previous strategy expired two years ago and has not been updated.

The draft plan of “focused priorities” is set to be delivered at the next Health and Wellbeing Board in January before it goes ahead by the end of March next year.

Part of the strategy will be ‘intervention and prevention’ which could include tobacco control, healthly eating options in city takeaways, and more cycle paths.

Mrs Hubber said: “One of the problems is (the strategy) sits on a shelf, they are interesting reading and says ‘what we would like to do’ but does not lead to much change and that is national not just Nottingham.

“We can use this strategy as a way of improving areas – make a big difference in some areas of our population.”

Sarah Collis, from Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, said the low life expectancy for women was ‘sobering’.

She said: “It breaks my heart. I have been here 30-odd years and I am proud of this city but to hear that particularly women are second worst in the country (for life expectancy) is just shocking.

“I find it the most exciting strategy I have been involved in for many years if we can pull it off.”

Cllr Eunice Campbell-Clark (Lab), portfolio holder for leisure, culture and schools at Nottingham City Council, added: “If I was a service user – female, I had low-esteem, unemployed and poor housing – all these things have a knock-on effect.

“I like the whole system approach. There are multiple challenges – and I think it is a starting point. I am quite excited about it and I don’t get excited.”

Jules Sebelin, chief executive officer for the Community and Voluntary Service, was also in favour of the strategy.

She said: “If we don’t get to the poverty issue in Nottingham, we will not change things. It is the route of everything.”

For males in Nottingham City, the Healthy Life Expectancy is 57.7 years. This is significantly lower than England value of 63.4 years.

The female healthy life expectancy at birth is 54.2 years for Nottingham. The Nottingham value has been significantly lower than the England value over the last decade and has shown a downward trend.

Nottingham ranks lowest of eight cities for both sexes and has markedly lower healthy life expectancy for females.

Cities it has been compared to include Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

 

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