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Improving the public’s health - Local government delivers

15 February 2019

The Local Government Association (LGA) has produced a summary report called LGA Improving the Public’s Health. The report examines the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF), with an analysis of the progress made since the Public Health functions were transferred from the NHS to local government.

The report highlights that since the move of Public Health into local government in April 2013, public health outcomes nationally have shown as good, if not better performance as under the NHS.

Some of the national trends are at odds with St. Helens local trends, including:

- Obesity rates are higher than the national average and for reception age children in St. Helens, there is an increasing trend in obesity, with 13.2% of reception aged children now obese.
- Breastfeeding initiation rates in St. Helens, although showing a slightly increasing trend from 51% in 2011/12 to 55% in 2016/17, remain one of the lowest in England and the 6th lowest in the North West.
- The rate of under-18 year olds admissions to hospital due to alcohol specific conditions is more than double the England rate.
- The rate of admissions to hospital due to alcohol related conditions (all ages) remains considerably higher than the England average, although it is showing a downward trend.
- St. Helens suicide rate is showing an upwards trend, increasing from 11.0 per 10,000 population in 2011/12 to 17.9 per 10,000 population in 2017/18. This is at odds with the national trend, which has stayed relatively stable and is showing a small decrease.

However, in some areas of health and wellbeing, St. Helens is performing more strongly than national performance. These areas include:

- In the area of sexual health, STI detection rate (excluding chlamydia) and the Chlamydia detection rates are higher than the national averages.
- The percentage of babies of low birth weight is lower than the England average.
- Infant mortality is lower than the England average.
- The rate of under-18 conceptions in St. Helens has decreased faster than the national rate. Locally, the rate has decreased from 55.5 per 1,000 15-17 year olds in 1998 when records were first published, to 22.6 per 1,000 in 2016. This compares with a reduction from 46.6 in 1998 nationally to 18.8 per 1,000 population.

For more information about local health and wellbeing trends, please refer to the JSNA pages of this site.

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