Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Shorter Life Expectancy in Thanet

Commenting on Thanet as a visible pocket of shorter life expectancy in contrast with the rest of Britain, Scott Gavin writes:

Featured on the BBC website today is a report on the findings from a two year health survey across the whole of the UK.

Some of the key highlights from the report are a that on whole we are living longer, more than a million of us have given up smoking in the last eight years and we are less likely to suffer an early death from cancer or heart disease.

However, looking at the results of official statisticians, you can clearly see which parts of the country rank lowest in life expectancy.  The reasons behind this are unclear, but the obvious candidates are lack of exercise and poor diet.

One startling thing for me was to see that although the south is on the whole healthier and living longer compared to the north, our very own part of East Kent ranks in the bottom end for the whole country.

This could be seen as an opportunity, or it could be seen as evidence of under funding from local government in promoting health and fitness and the provision of adequate sports facilities.

I think the timing of this report coincides well with the launch of PlayLocal in East Kent.  If nothing else, I hope this encourages people to pursue a healthier lifestyle and buck the worrying trend we are seeing for this part of the country.


Anonymous said...

It's startling, that you appear to be oblivious to the social deprivation which has pervaded Thanet for many a-year. You probably will not appreciate the fact that Thanet has been starved of hospital resources in the past, the establishment preferring to look after the more articulate middle-classes in Canterbury, similarly with education, where else in Kent were the needs of children ignored for so many years other than in Thanet (Ramsgate School) even now a large swathe of children in Margate do not have a local secondary school.

And Thanet will probably continue to be deprived in health, and other matters, since most of our government comes from outside the area, particularly from well-heeled Tory county types who tend to congregate at County Hall in Maidstone.

Particularly of concern is the stature of our local politicians, none of whom are considered good enough, to be part of Paul Carters KCC Cabinet, and when the big Tory idea in Thanet boils down to Wittering on about the cafe society is it any surprise at Thanet remains at the bottom of the heap!

James Maskell said...

NHS spending is at unprecedented levels and yet cuts are having to be made. Morale is low and there are people wondering if they will be next for the chop. Whats the next ward that will have to close in the QEQM Hospital? Frontline services are being harmed by this because people are having to travel further for treatment. That puts a heavy and unnecessary burden on the patient. Its not good enough.

Thanet does seem to be put as a lower priority in KCCs plans.

Anonymous said...

An outspoken friend of mine from Stratford upon Avon visited me during the summer and said he was amazed at the number of fat people locally. Having said that I have just started work in Dover and there are even more fat people there!

Anonymous said...

I'm suprised at Tony's subtle dig at the author for being suprised at the news that Thanet ranks lowest in the South for health etc. I too was 'startled' as they put it, and even the last blogger noted Dover had loads of fat people. I am suprised places like Dover, Hastings and most places in between were not also on the governments list of lowest life expectancy.

James makes a good point, Thanet does seem to have a lower priority in KCC plans. What we need is councilors with some 'get up and go' to raise the awareness and not settle for second best when it comes to KCC focus.

DrMoores said...

Remember that I didn't write this news item one of our readers did!

Anyway, what's interesting is how Thanet sticks out so clearly as a national problem area, like a winking strobe light in the south east. We all know about the level of deprivation here and I wonder if its becoming worse? Ultimately, I suspect that the well-heeled types may start to leave over time. I'm starting to hear rumblings of discontent which suggest that if things, such as law and order, don't improve, the apparent working minority that pay taxes, might start to migrate in a more westerly direction.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you DrMoores, unless the isle start's to see a turn around we will see the young proffesionals and the more affluent move from the area. The powers that be must find a way to leverage this data to attract better funding, facilities and services to the region.

Anonymous said...

I am annoyed that Government are happy to off-load prisoners to former barracks in places like Dover which is quite a poor area, how about sticking a prison near Dorking, near Richmond, near Weybridge? Why do we have to take the brunt all the time? Why does our more deprived area have to be kept in it's place, ie: deprived? Why do we have to absorb lots of new housing? Stick it in the New Forest. People elsewhere think they're immune to these problems leaving it to us to have to live with.