Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health, Lancashire County Council

Public Health annual report revealed

The health and wellbeing of Lancashire's residents have been revealed in a new report.

The county council's Public Health Annual Report for 2021/22, produced by Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, analyses the issues affecting people's wellbeing and explains the health inequalities between different communities.

It also highlights the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on people's lives and livelihoods. Some of the main findings of the report include:

• Life expectancy has decreased overall during the last two years. Males living in the least deprived communities live 10.3 years longer than those in the most deprived. The gap is 7.8 years for females.
• The overall health and wellbeing of children in Lancashire is worse than England when comparing local data with national averages.
• The percentage of people who "often or always" felt lonely during the pandemic in Lancashire was reported to be 6.1%. For certain districts this figure was as high as 13.5%.

Some positive issues outlined in the report include:

• Lancashire's carbon emissions reduced by more than 32% between 2005 and 2019.
• Health assessments and reviews with new mothers and babies continued throughout the pandemic, with thousands being assessed over the last two years.
• There is huge potential to increase Lancashire's economy by an estimated £8.2bn and improvements in productivity could help achieve this.

The report will be considered by the county council's cabinet on Thursday 3 February.

County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

"We welcome the hard work of our director of public health and Lancashire's public health team in producing this vital report.

"It gives us a good idea of the key issues and challenges we need to address and highlights the importance of tackling the health inequalities we face.

"The findings and recommendations provide a good basis for the county council and its partners to work together to take action. We are determined to do everything we can to improve the health and wellbeing of Lancashire residents.

"The Health and Wellbeing Board welcomed the annual report at its meeting last week, which I chaired, and Cabinet will now consider the report for approval."

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health, said:

"Covid 19 has had a major impact on our lives and livelihoods over the last two years.

"You can see its effects from the figures in the report, particularly the health inequalities between different communities and the toll the pandemic has taken on people's mental wellbeing. However, there is hope to improve the situation.

"Research by the World Health Organisation tells us that economic, social and environmental factors have a major effect on our health and wellbeing.

"The report and its recommendations highlight the importance of our ongoing work to tackle climate change and develop a thriving, inclusive economy. It sets out how we can improve outcomes and reduce inequalities.

"Continuing our response to the threat of coronavirus is crucial. However, we will continue to work closely and innovatively with our partners to recover key public health outcomes and help Lancashire residents to thrive through better life chances."

To read a copy of the Public Health Annual report, search for agenda item 14 on our cabinet web page