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Solihull's health gap shame

Startling figures from Solihull Care Trust show that on average people in south Solihull live 10 years longer than those in the north.

Startling figures from Solihull Care Trust show that on average people in south Solihull live 10 years longer than those in the north.

Delegates at the trust's first ever health forum heard that factors such as healthy eating, education, the environmentand employment opportunities contribute to the differences.

The event, which was held at Solihull Library on October 9 saw 90 people congregate at the venue and included psychiatrists, dentists, social workers, dieticians, borough councillors and staff from the education and environmental protection departments of Solihull Council in attendance.

The meeting, also involved discussions about how to improve the health of people in Solihull and reduce the north-south divide, as people in Chelmsley Wood have the lowest life expectancy standing at 75 years with people from the St Alphege ward living to the ripe age of 84 years.

Dr Stephen Munday, Director of Public Health, said: "It has been really encouraging to see such a wide variety of people from different agencies and professions coming together with the common purpose of tackling health inequalties."

Councillor Sue Rose (Lib Dem, Shirley East), who attended the forum stated she thought it was a useful exercise.

She said: "I think it is useful to attend events like this, just to have the time to realise that public health is not just about health, it is also about education, housing and work. A lot of work has already been done in the north with the regeneration project to provide better services but we have to take responsibilty for our own wellbeing."

Solihull NHS Care Trust said it was likely another forum would be held within the next year after the success of the first one.

It is currently working on a range of initiatives in an attempt to slash the life expectancy between people living in the north and south of Solihull and these include obesity schemes, alcohol strategies, breastfeeding promotion, heart disease prevention, healthy eating and physical activity programmes.

 

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