Shocking Health Issues in Copeland Revealed

Figures obtained by Jamie Reed MP have uncovered the high rate of people in Copeland who are overweight.  The figures show that the levels of obesity are higher in Copeland than in the rest of England.  This includes children, where more than 1 in 4 Reception-age children and more than 1 in 3 children in Year 6 are overweight or obese.  These figures have been uncovered by local MP, Jamie Reed through a Parliamentary Question.

The figures relating to the proportion of adults and children classed as overweight or obese are below:

Children (Reception)
Children (Year 6)

Figures published by Sport England show that fewer than 1 in 3 people in Copeland take part in 30 minutes of moderate intensity sport each week.  On the back of this, the Government have been forced to launch a consultation on overhauling their plans to get people more active following their failure to harness the Olympic legacy.

Data published by Public Health England has backed up the figures obtained by Jamie Reed MP and has revealed the extent of poor health in Copeland Borough.  Various measures on health throughout the borough are worse than country-wide average and on the measure of alcohol-specific hospital stays for under-18s and excess weight in adults, Copeland has the worst measures in the country.

The Public Health England figures also show a huge variance in levels of health between those living in deprived areas and those in more affluent areas: the findings state that “life expectancy is 12.4 years lower for men and 6.4 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Copeland than in the least deprived areas.”

On a number of indicators, the health of those in Copeland is much worse than the England-average

  •  Alcohol-specific hospital stays for under-18s: 105.8 per 100,000 people – the worst in England (England Average: 40.1)
  • Excess weight in adults: 75.9% – the worst in England (England Average: 63.8%)
  • Recorded Diabetes: 8.1% (England Average: 6.2)
  • Under-75 Mortality Rate for Cancer: 179.1 per 100,000 people (England Average: 144.4)

These results come as figures show much more affluent areas received significantly more funding per person to deal with public health issues in 2014/15.  Cumbria as a whole received £31 per head for public health spending – on improving health related to the key indicators published above – whereas areas such as Kensington and Chelsea (£133 per head), Hammersmith and Fulham (£114 per head) and the City of London (£185 per head) received considerably more.

The Government also recently announced in-year budget cuts of £200 million to public health funding throughout England.

Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed MP said:

“The health challenges faced by the people of West Cumbria are incredibly complex and it is clear that the current funding formula for addressing public health needs is not up to the task.  Areas that are significantly more affluent – and healthier – than Cumbria are receiving much more funding: This is simply not right.

“Life expectancy in the more deprived areas is years lower than less deprived areas, but the City of London receives six times the funding that Cumbria receives to address public health challenges.  This is unfair when Cumbria faces much more complex health challenges.

The number of young people with alcohol related stays in hospital in Copeland is the worst in the country and we must find a way to address this.  Obesity remains a key issue in our area and Government must empower us to take action.  To improve personal health in West Cumbria the Government must correct the unfairness in public health funding and do more to encourage people to be active.”

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