Agenda item

Director of Public Health Annual Report 2022

The annual report from the Director of Public Health is submitted for the Board’s consideration.


Shade Agboola (Director of Public Health) presented her Annual Report, as required under Section 73B of the National Health Service Act 2006.  The theme of this year’s report was health and the rising cost of living and contained a number of recommendations which would require a concerted joint effort from health and social care partners across the Integrated Care System if they were to be achieved.


Shade Agboola introduced her presentation which focused on the theme of ‘Health and the High Cost of Living in Warwickshire’.  The presentation covered the following:


·       The picture of Health and Wellbeing in Warwickshire, including life expectancy and healthy life expectancy data;

·       Improvements made across areas of health including the uptake of services and determinants that affect health;

·       The Warwickshire Health Profile in 2022 – showing health performance and allowing comparisons between districts and boroughs;

·       The Rising Cost of Living, resulting in three main consequences – household energy costs, rising petrol and travel prices and the increase in the cost of goods;

·       The impact these pressures will have on people’s health such as the inability to afford healthy food, risk of obesity, missed medical appointments, housing impacts and homelessness;

·       Metrics used to model financial resilience across Warwickshire Households;

·       Cost of living index demonstrating the most vulnerable areas of the county;

·       Data evidencing the impact of housing, bills and the rising cost of living on health – this included the impact on physical health, mental health and wellbeing and the cost of the burden on the NHS;

·       Support being offered in Warwickshire such as Act on Energy and Warm Hubs with an increased number of people using food banks, reducing meal size and an uptake in free school meals;

·       The positive work being carried out by food pantries and residents accessing debt advice and being signposted to a range of resources;

·       Transport and travel, the impact on loneliness and social isolation, restricted access to work, education and green spaces;

·       The benefits of active travel and the support being offered in Warwickshire including schemes such as Choose How you Move and a number of funding sources from WCC.


The presentation concluded with a number of recommendations, the first of which was an overarching proposal encouraging key anchor organisations to focus their expertise and capacity on building an inclusive, healthy and sustainable Warwickshire by focusing on:


Policy, Surveillance, Workforce Development, Making Every Contact Count and Access to services.


This was underpinned by three further recommendations focusing on housing, food and transport as follows:


·       Recommendation 2 – I recommend that housing, planning and health leads work together to prevent ill health caused by poor housing and living conditions.  This should include a commitment to prevent new homes from being built with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of less than C and working with private and public landlords to ensure existing homes have an EPC of C or above, and are mould free.


·       Recommendation 3 – I recommend that to support children to have the best start in life, Health and Wellbeing Board explores the feasibility of free school meals for all primary school children in Warwickshire, as research shows that children are able to learn better in school if they have a full stomach.


·       Recommendation 4 – I recommend that transport planners and health partners work together to improve transport links for those living in areas with more rural isolation, deprivation and where rates of long-term conditions and access to transport links are poor.


Russell Hardy (SWFT and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust) thanked Shade Agboola for her outstanding report.  He felt that a key issue determining health was access and suggested that this be looked at openly, along with the implications it had to understand the problems and take any learnings forward.


The Chair proposed that Access to Healthcare be added to the Board’s forward plan.  Having requested that the recommendations be displayed again, she recognised that some of the requests sat outside the Board’s remit and lay with other forums.  However, she fully supported the proposal to undertake a feasibility study in relation to free school meals for all primary school children.


Resolved that the 2022 Annual Report of the Director of Public Health and the recommendations within it be endorsed by the Board.

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