Shock statistics reveal state of Pendle’s health

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Measures are being taken to improve the wellbeing of Pendle residents this year, it has been claimed.

This comes as shocking figures from 2013 reveal that the state of the borough’s health has taken a downward spiral.

Out of 32 topics in the Public Health England report, Pendle is shown to be significantly worse than the England average in 18. This compares to 15 in the 2012 report.

One area shown to be in dire need of improvement is the health of children and young people, with a staggering one in five Year 6 pupils said to be obese.

Other problems in this category are shown to be alcohol-specific stays for under-18s, teenage pregnancy, and smoking in pregnancy.

Health Profiles are designed as a way of assisting local government and health services in identifying problems in their area and deciding how to tackle them.

In the latest publication, it highlights deprivation and poverty as areas in need of attention - with 34,211 residents said to be living in a deprived state, and a shocking 4,025 youngsters living in poverty.

Life expectancy is 12.4 years lower for men and 9.7 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Pendle, than in the least deprived areas. And 684 residents aged between 15 and 64 are estimated to be users of opiate and/or crack cocaine.

Additional concerns include hospital stays for self-harm, hospital stays for alcohol-related harm, infant deaths and smoking related deaths.

But Pendle is said to be better than the national average in areas of statutory homelessness, violent crime, long term unemployment, acute sexually transmitted infections and excess winter deaths.

Responding to the figures, Lancashire County Council confirmed that it is working with its partners to address issues highlighted in the profile report for Pendle.

A spokesman said: “We face some tough health challenges across Lancashire.

“Around 22% of Lancashire’s population smoke. We’re working with local ‘stop smoking’ services to encourage people to get the support they need to quit for good.

“We’re also running specific schemes to encourage people to keep their homes smokefree and stop smoking when pregnant to protect their children from the dangerous effects of second-hand smoke.

“Under-age drinking is another issue we want to address in Pendle. We’ve written to the government to encourage them to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol to discourage people from drinking.

“As part of this, we’re working with local businesses to encourage them to check the ID of anyone who looks 21 years old or younger to ensure they are aged 18 or over.”