Friday, 4 May 2012

Life Expectancy in Argyll and Bute

People in Argyll and Bute lead longer lives than people living elsewhere in Scotland. The average life expectancy for a man here is 75.8 years and for a woman it is 80.4. years. This compares to 74.5 and 79.5 respectively for Scotland as a whole. Yet we can’t be complacent as we still have a lot to do in relation to health related behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity levels. Current thinking around health promotion is that people should be empowered to look after their own health and that the people responsible for improving health should work with communities to focus on what makes people healthy. Argyll and Bute CHP is committed to improving the health of the people in Argyll and Bute in partnership with other public sector bodies such as Argyll and Bute Council and Strathclyde Police, and with the Third Sector. Last year a review was conducted into how health improvement is delivered and from April 2012 there will be new structures in place to support health improvement delivery. Strategically, the Health and Wellbeing Partnership will oversee the planning and review of programmes of work and this will be supported by operational Health and Wellbeing Networks. There are 7 Networks in Argyll and Bute that give organisations with a remit for health improvement the opportunity to work together to plan joint activities. Lorna Alquist, the co-ordinator from Bute said: 'These Networks are a great way of getting a wide range of people together to share opportunities and resources and look at local needs. We decide together on funding local initiatives that make a difference to people's health. The Green Gym and Health Walks are great examples of the things that we do to improve the health of our community.' Alison McGrory, Health Improvement Principal from Argyll and Bute CHP said:‘The Networks are essential in helping us to get as many organisations as possible interested in improving the health of our population. The NHS is committed to health improvement because a healthier Argyll and Bute is in everyone’s best interest. A grant fund is due to be launched next month to support the activities of the networks.” Mid Argyll Network is currently working with art students from Tarbert and Lochgilphead secondary schools to create an eye catching visual brand for the Partnership and Networks.