Report reveals death rates one of the key issues facing the borough

A woman gets her blood pressure checked

A woman gets her blood pressure checked - Credit: PA

A new report on public health described high mortality rates, a rapidly changing population and the need to invest in primary and social care as the key issues affecting the borough.

The report called ‘Making the healthier choices the easier choice for all’ was published by Barking and Dagenham Council this week and covers some of this year’s most controversial health debates.

Endorsed by the borough’s Health and Wellbeing Board the report includes chapters on E-cigarettes, sugar addictions and ‘super-strength’ alcohol.

Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Health and Chair of the Barking and Dagenham Health and Wellbeing Board, welcomed the report and said: “It clearly lays out the real issues we face and what we need to do to address them.

“Good public health is essential to achieving the council’s vision, to encourage growth and unlock our borough’s potential,” she added.

Authored by Matthew Cole, Director of Public Health, recommended delivering a sustained and consistent approach - from birth onwards - to health promotion, ill-health prevention, early diagnosis and effective treatment.

It proposed doing so by working with GPs and hospitals to raise all services to the same high standards and focusing on the need to provide services that are flexible and are delivered closer to people’s homes.

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Services that address local health needs are provided through a commissioning system, according to the area’s priorities.

Programmes funded by the Public Health team in 2013 included smoking prevention and cessation, healthy eating schemes for children and young people, sexual health and pregnancy services and drug and alcohol services.