A frank report on the state of public health in
Warwickshire has been revealed as its responsibility
becomes the county council’s for the first time in nearly
Warwickshire’s Director of Public Health, Dr John Linnane,
has used this opportunity to reflect on some of the
achievements in public health over the past decades, as
well as exploring the challenges for improving health in
And while the health of people living in Warwickshire is
generally better than the England average, it also offers
up some fairly stark reading, such as:
· 1,600 children are estimated to have started smoking in
the last year.
· Almost one in five pregnant women are still smoking at
the time they give birth in hospital.
· Substantial inequalities in several indicators of health
persist between different areas within Warwickshire
Dr Linnane’s report ‘Learning from the Past, Planning for
the Future’ starts by focussing on improving the health of
the local population, at the very beginning of life, by
promoting the health of pregnant women and infants.
He asks: “How can we have one in five babies being born in
the county who have effectively already been smoking for
nine months at the time they take their first breath?”
At the other end of the spectrum the report looks at the
pressures Warwickshire will be facing with an ageing
The report looks at a number of different themes.
“For example, one of our challenges is an ageing
population. This, of course, is something that should be
celebrated: it represents the success of increasing life
expectancy in the population, and longer lives for
Dr Linnane said there are also challenges in Warwickshire
in addressing the inequalities in health, recognising the
difference in life expectancy seen between different areas
and population groups within Warwickshire.
He said: “Life expectancy is 8.3 years lower for men and
7.6 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of
Warwickshire than in the least deprived areas.”
Other report findings include:
· Early death rates from heart disease and stroke have
fallen and are better than the England average.
· 16.2 per cent of Year 6 children are classified as obese,
which is lower than the England average.
· The estimated level of adult obesity is worse that the
· Levels of breast feeding initiation are worse than the
· MMR immunisation uptake rates are better than the England
Cllr Bob Stevens, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio
Holder for Health, said: “This annual report from Dr
Linnane is encouraging, and shows that things are heading
in the right direction in Warwickshire. Clearly there are
areas which require our attention and action - the ‘return’
of public health to local government after 39 years in the
NHS provides a renewed opportunity to address these issues.”
To see the report in full visit