Healthy life expectancy 12 years lower in parts of Banbury


New software demonstrates the stark differences between those in rural areas and those in more deprived parts of town

A new Story Map has revealed the state of health and wellbeing of people across the Cherwell District.   It has shown big disparities in healthy life expectancy figures dependant on where you live.

The data reveals that life expectancy at birth across the Cherwell District is 81 years for males and 83.5 years for females.   However, when considering how long a person will enjoy a healthy lifestyle the figure for males falls to 71 years in some areas and as low as 59 years in parts of Banbury.   The figures for women for a healthy lifestyle are even more stark, ranging from 73.5 years at best to as low as 58.9 years in parts of Banbury.

The Story Map shows that the rates of death from disease are worse in the more deprived areas of Banbury and Bicester.   Here rates of death are described as “way above the national norms, often at least a quarter or a third higher than England averages”.   The narrative says that the Banbury Ruscote Ward has early deaths from cancer at a rate that is more than three quarters higher than the rate across England.

Within the data adults in the Cherwell District are shown as amongst some of the most active in the country.   63.5% of adults reach the guideline of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week.    But within this figure there is a very clear difference between high levels of inactivity in the densely populated urban areas of Banbury and Bicester, compared to the less populated and more rural areas.

The software has been developed for Cherwell District Council by digital specialists Press Red.  It will help the council understand more about the residents it serves, enabling the delivery of more targeted help for those who need it most.

Councillor Andrew McHugh, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “The Council is responsible for a large range of services in district, from sport and leisure to planning. Everything we do is for the benefit of the community we serve. But to do this properly, we need to truly understand all the different towns, villages and neighbourhoods and adapt our services depending on what help is needed most. The Story Map is the perfect tool for the job.”

Cherwell is the first council in Oxfordshire to develop the system. The Story Map works by using data already found in the public domain, as well as specialist information from in-house studies, to create a more rounded picture of life for Cherwell residents living in specific locations. The information will be continually updated, giving the most recent analysis possible.

The technology has been developed in partnership with organisations including Active Oxfordshire, Sport England and Public Health England. Chief Executive of Active Oxfordshire, Paul Brivio, said: “Cherwell District Council’s Story Map will be absolutely invaluable in helping us to understand local communities better and target our work, so that everyone across the district has access to an active, healthy life. We know that every community we work with has unique strengths, assets, needs and challenges – and this Map brings together a huge amount of insight and information that will help us reach those most in need.”

You can view Cherwell’s Story Map here.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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