Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Moving in the Right Direction; HEALTH Profiles Recently Published Give a Blueprint Onhealth across theNorth East Andshow Lifestyle Campaigns Are Taking Effect but More Workneeds to Be Done. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Explains

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Moving in the Right Direction; HEALTH Profiles Recently Published Give a Blueprint Onhealth across theNorth East Andshow Lifestyle Campaigns Are Taking Effect but More Workneeds to Be Done. Health Reporter HELEN RAE Explains

Article excerpt

Byline: HELEN RAE

EFFORTS to improve the health of people in the North East are having an impact, according to the newly published health profiles.

The profiles, published in July by the Department of Health and the Association of Public Health Observatories, give a picture of health in each local authority area. They are designed to help local Government and health services improve people's health and reduce health inequalities.

They have revealed that Newcastle Primary Care Trust (PCT), North Tyneside PCT and Northumberland Care Trust are addressing issues highlighted in the profiles through successful strategies and health campaigns.

During the last 10 years, death rates from all causes have continued to improve in men in North Tyneside and across Newcastle and Northumberland.

Early death rates from cancer, heart disease, and stroke have continued to improve across these areas, but there is still progress to be made across a number of areas.

Life expectancy across Newcastle and North Tyneside is still lower than the national average while in Northumberland life expectancy for men is similar to the England average but for women it is slightly worse.

Each primary care organisation has its own areas for improvement such as childhood weight management, breastfeeding, and alcohol-related hospital stays.

The health of people in Newcastle and North Tyneside is improving, but is still worse than the England average.

In Northumberland people's health is similar to the England average and levels of deprivation are lower.

Sue Gordon, executive director for public health for NHS North of Tyne, said: "We could do much more to bring about improvements to people experiencing the worst health if we could reduce levels of heart disease, lung disease and cancer. These conditions are related to smoking, so tackling smoking has to be a number one priority for us."

Greater emphasis is being put on prevention and early diagnosis across the NHS and screening is playing a huge part of this.

Free NHS health checks to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease are being offered this year.

Under the NHS Putting Prevention First initiative, everyone between the ages of 40 and 74 is being invited once every five years to have a check to assess their risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes.

They are then given support and advice to help them reduce or manage that risk.

Jill Mitchell, head of long-term conditions for NHS North of Tyne, said: "The annual health check is focusing on the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

"CVD is strongly linked with other conditions, notably obesity and diabetes, and is the main cause of death in the United Kingdom.

"There is enormous potential to prevent premature deaths from this condition by targeting those at high risk of developing CVD through screening, managing their conditions and advising lifestyle changes."

Meanwhile Newcastle Alcohol, Care and Treatment Service (ACTS) was launched in the city earlier this year and is being rolled out across North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Newcastle ACTs is a multiagency partnership which involves Newcastle PCT, GPs, hospitals, mental health services and the voluntary sector. …

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