New report sets out Bristol's health in numbers

The state of local people’s health has been laid out in a new report published by Bristol City Council and the CCG.

  • 21 November 2018

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The report takes a snapshot of the health and wellbeing of Bristol in 2018 and covers a huge variety of topics which range from the role that a healthy lifestyle plays in staying well to the broader factors that affect health such as employment, education and housing. The report draws on NHS and GP health data to provide a rounded picture and areas such as mental health, long terms conditions and sexual health are also in focus.

The purpose of the report is to identify the current and future needs of local people and provide up to date information for the council and health partners to use when planning services. This will be particularly important as Bristol’s population continues to rise – it has grown significantly quicker (11.5%) than the national average (8%) since 2007 and is predicted to increase a further 9% by 2026.

One of the key themes is the inequality which remains prevalent across the city. Bristol has high average earnings, but the 10% highest paid are earning six times as much every week as the 10% lowest paid.

Inequalities are evident in many different places including education as all young people in certain areas go on to further education whereas other parts of the city have some of the lowest levels in the country. Breastfeeding and smoking rates also vary dramatically across the city.  

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and co-chair of Bristol’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

This report puts the challenges we face into sharp focus and highlights how factors which are often out of an individual’s control can affect our health. Tackling issues such as entrenched inequalities takes decades and there are no quick fixes and no one organisation can solve these problems alone, especially in the context of years of austerity. This report will help to make sure that efforts are focused in the right areas and lay the foundation for future joint plans such as the One City Plan which is currently being developed. I hope that many different local partners and organisations will use this resource to help them plan services to improve health.

As well as stressing the challenges, the report also highlights areas which are improving. Early death rates have been gradually falling in Bristol, mostly due to reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and unemployment has been falling steadily, down to 4.3% from 8% in 2015. Adults in Bristol are also significantly more active than the national average with more people commuting by bike or foot than in any other local authority in the country. 

Dr Alison Bolam, co-chair Health and Wellbeing Board, and Bristol Area Commissioning Lead at NHS Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:

We have many significant challenges, as set out in the report, and we must keep the people behind the data at the core of how we plan services for the future. The report gives us an overview of people’s health and will be extremely useful for supporting and directing targeted work in communities. Prevention and early intervention must be the foundations of how we work to improve health and wellbeing, but as ever this needs to be balanced against meeting people’s needs here and now.

Bristol Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) 2018 data profile

The JSNA identifies the current and future health and wellbeing needs of the local Bristol population.

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