Annual Public Health Report 2018-19
The Annual Public Health Report for 2018-19 provides context for the Health and Wellbeing Board's Diabetes Action Plan which is being published at the same time. It is a learning resource, to encourage the development of a whole system approach for all long-term health conditions not just diabetes.
The report describes the current picture of diabetes in Merton and forecasts for the future. Its key message is that working together to create a healthy place and provide holistic care is the best approach to tackle the problem, It describes a number of ways in which this could be enhanced, in terms of learning from elsewhere and how this might be used in Merton.
The style of the report is infographic and it features a list of further online resources. Hard copies will be distributed to Councillors and local schools.
Feedback is welcome to PHreport2019@merton.gov.uk.
Annual Public Health Report 2017-18
The Annual Public Health Report for 2017/18 addresses one of the main Public Health issues - health inequalities. Information has been analysed for many Public Health indicators, looking at trends over time and highlighting areas where considerable differences are seen between those living in the most and least deprived areas of Merton. One notable indicator is the current difference in healthy life expectancy of over 9 years between those living in the most deprived areas of the borough compared to those in most affluent areas.
The report proposes measures to monitor future progress and summarises evidence of what works to reduce inequalities. It provides a basis for the new Health and Wellbeing Strategy, is a useful resource and provides a strong focus for addressing the challenges ahead.
Working with our partner organisations and considering the resources available, the aim is to reduce these inequalities and to bridge the gap between the most and least deprived areas within Merton so that all residents can start well, live well and age well.
Annual Public Health Report 2016-17
Dr Dagmar Zeuner's first independent annual public health report for 2016/17 is titled 'Tackling Childhood Obesity Together'. This report considers one of the major public health issues in Merton – childhood obesity – which is a priority for the local Health and Wellbeing Board, as it is for London and nationally. Childhood obesity is an epidemic – there has been a steep increase since the 1980s and the World Health Organization (WHO) regards childhood obesity as one of the most serious global public health challenges for the 21st century.
The annual public health report sets out the challenge of childhood obesity in Merton and is a call to action to partners to work together on the solutions. It brings together data and information from a range of sources and provides evidence about what works to tackle obesity, providing a local reference and resource to support our joint effort. The report complements the Child Healthy Weight Action Plan being implemented in Merton (see below).
The report highlights how our behaviour is influenced by our environment - the places where we live, work and play. We all have a part to play in tackling the influences and addressing the consequences of childhood obesity. Good work is already taking place across Merton but we need to do more. As we continue to engage with stakeholders and residents through this report and subsequent conversations, we hope to further refine our approaches, creating collective and sustainable actions to address childhood obesity locally.
Annual Public Health Report 2014-2015
Merton's Second Annual Public Health Report is titled "The Time for Prevention is Now: Keeping People Healthy Reduces Health Inequalities". It makes the case for prevention and celebrates the work of the Public Health team and its partners since the transition of public health from the NHS to local government to address health inequalities and embed prevention.
Much has been achieved but many challenges remain. More progress could be made to convince local decision makers about the importance of the public health approach and of working across a system to embed prevention and to reduce health inequalities. Using policy levers within the council for better health requires more will rather than financial resources, offering significant opportunities to create more fair and healthy communities in times of financial constraints. Increasing financial pressures create much uncertainty in the future for all partners, but could well be the catalyst for increased prevention. Seizing the opportunity for shifting resources to keeping people healthier longer requires an understanding that wellbeing is created through a combination of healthy people and economic prosperity, clearly priorities for all partners. Economic growth will only be sustainable where it sits alongside health and wellbeing to include more fair opportunities for all and where our high streets and town centres make the healthy option the easy one for individuals to take responsibility for their lifestyle choices. The APHR sets out examples of how we have planted the seeds for making health everyone's business. We now need the will going forward to make difficult choices that reflect our values and priorities.
Annual Public Health Report 2013-2014
A year after Public Health moved 'home' to local government from the NHS, the 2013-14 Annual Public Health report invited partners in the NHS, the voluntary sector and the Council to work in a more joined up way to reduce the significant inequalities across Merton; thus, achieving more than by working alone. The report called for a priority to the early years and school age to ready children for their adult years by giving them the resources required to be independent and to make healthy choices. At the same time, a focus on the factors that create health in the environment in which we grow, work and live has the potential to increase availability of healthy options, making these the easier choice for individuals. The move of Public Health to local government has opened up many exciting opportunities to shape these factors.
The Annual Public Health report for 2013-14 was launched on the 21 October 2014 at Vestry Hall, with elected members and colleagues from across the Council, the NHS and the voluntary sector partners.