Wokingham is healthiest place in England and Blackpool the unhealthiest in new index – so how did your town fare?
- Berkshire town received overall health score of 110 putting it to top of the list
- Scores were collected by Office for National Statistics and financial company
- Seaside town Blackpool only scored 86 on the overall health category of index
Wokingham has been named the healthiest place in England while Blackpool has been branded unhealthiest, according to the first official national health index.
The Berkshire town received an overall health score of 110, putting it to the top of the list, while Blackpool only scored 86.
The scores, collected by the Office for National Statistics and financial services company Lane Clark & Peacock were found by combining different health factors in every area such as dementia, cancer, alcohol misuse and adult obesity.
It is thought to be the first composite health index in the world after ministers asked statisticians to assess the health of the nation in a bid to measure the effects of government policy on health.
Some of the findings have provided food for thought for statisticians and policymakers alike as some areas have healthy scores for certain life aspects but not others.
While Newham in east London has some of the worse rates for physical activity and healthy eating it also appears to have the lowest rates of depression and dementia in the whole of England.
Similarly, east Yorkshire has bad scores for heart conditions, cancer and high blood pressure but receives high scores for life satisfaction.
Former chief medical officer professor Dame Sally Davies, who led the study alongside Dr Jonathan Person-Stuttard, recommended such a table be created in 2018.
Wokingham has been named the healthiest place in England while Blackpool has been branded unhealthiest, according to the first official national health index
The Berkshire town received an overall health score of 110, putting it to the top of the list, while Blackpool only scored 86
Mr Pearson-Stuttard, head of health analytics at LCP, said the index of 149 local authority areas should be viewed as ‘an asset to the nation’.
He told The Sunday Times: ‘The numbers reveal clear and substantial differences across England and should be a wake-up call to the government to deliver on its manifesto pledge to level up regional inequalities.
‘While there is some encouragement to be had from slight improvements in measures related to wellbeing and mortality, these have been cancelled out by worsening mental and physical health morbidity.
‘These may have deteriorated further as a result of Covid-19.’
Mr Pearson-Stuttard, head of health analytics at LCP, said the index of 149 local authority areas should be viewed as ‘an asset to the nation’
The index revealed a stark north-south divide. Wokingham is at the top of the list with an overall health score of 110.1, followed by Richmond upon Thames with 107.7 and Windsor and Maidenhead with 106.5.
South areas West Berkshire, Surrey, Bracknell Forest, Buckinghamshire, Rutland, Kingston upon Thames and Hampshire make up the rest of the ten healthiest places.
In contrast, Blackpool has the lowest score of 86.4, below Hull with 91 and Stoke-on-Trent with 91.4. Northern towns Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Knowsley, Doncaster, Nottingham, St Helens and Salford make up the rest of England’s ten unhealthiest areas.
Although this index only measured scores for England, the group has plans to expand it to the rest of the UK.