Blackpool the unhealthiest place in England, according to new national index

Blackpool has been branded the unhealthiest place in England, according to the first official national health index.

Sunday, 28th February 2021, 3:25 pm

The resort received an overall health score of just 86 in the index released in today's Sunday Times, with Wokingham in Berkshire named the healthiest place in the country with a score of 110.

The scores, collected by the Office for National Statistics and financial services company Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP) 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.

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Blackpool has finished in last place in the new index

The Lancashire County Council authority area was 82nd on the list, with an overall score of 99.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said: "Blackpool's challenges with public health are well known.

"Just last week in Parliament, the public health minister committed to working with me and with local health providers to tackle not only our health challenges but also things like housing which are so often a root cause of other problems."

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.

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."

Although the index only measured scores for England, the group has plans to expand it to the rest of the UK.

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