How work affects our health will be Calderdale annual report focus next year

Next year's report into public health in Calderdale will examine how work impacts on our health, and our health on work
Next year's report into public health in Calderdale will examine how work impacts on our health, and our health on work

The third in a series of ongoing annual reports on public health in Calderdale will focus on work.

Calderdale Council’s Director of Public Health Paul Butcher’s annual report for 2017-2018, Age Old Questions, examined healthy ageing while last year he reported on the first 1,000 days – a study of health in the youngest members of Calderdale’s population.

He said each report, which was presented to Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board, provided a focus on different areas of the borough’s health, recommendations providing ongoing monitoring for health partners to improve the care they offered in Calderdale and target issues which needed to be addressed.

“We want to make sure inequalities don’t increase and we will keep monitoring the data to see what further we need to do,” he said.

In terms of his report into ageing, it was good health rather than age per se that was the key, he said, or put another way round it was poor health rather than age itself which increased health care costs and reduced quality of life for Calderdale’s older citizens.

With 17 recommendations to act upon, the board also received a progress statement into last year’s First 1,000 Days report while Mr Butcher is already pulling together information for next year’s study which will look at the links between health and work.

Mr Butcher said he was interested in getting people’s stories about how work impacted on their health, and their health on their work, at a time when considerations like a “gig” economy and changing job profiles had to be considered.

“It will also look at traditional health and safety matters and how work is good for your health – but not if you have no control over it,” he said.

And in general terms, up to 50 people in health partnership across Calderdale are being trained to be “design thinkers” charged, in a nutshell, with coming up with designs for life which will keep people more active, fitness being a key component of good health. The project is set to start in September.

Making sure movement was part of every therapy and part of our health culture was important, said Mr Butcher.