A report from the Director of Public Health (Gloucestershire County Council)
The committee received an update from the Director of Public Health.
To view the information report circulated with the agenda, please refer to the link here.
Members recalled that, at the Full Council meeting on 9 November 2022, the council had considered a motion relating to concerns about the quality and cost of dentistry in Gloucestershire and on the principle that every Gloucestershire resident had the right to ‘good oral hygiene’ at affordable NHS rates. As part of the motion, the Council had asked the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board and the Director of Public Health to give an update on activities to promote oral health hygiene to the Gloucestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC).
The committee was informed that a report would be presented at the HOSC meeting on 31 January 2023, with specific focus on what was being done to promote good oral hygiene amongst children and young people. The report would be presented alongside a report from NHS England colleagues on access to dental treatment services. The oral health promotion report and the NHS dentistry report can be viewed here.
Detailed updates on Childhood Obesity Levels in Gloucestershire and on the National Child Measurement Programme were provided. The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) measures the height and weight of children in reception class, (children aged 4 to 5), and in year 6, (children aged 10 to 11), in state schools across England every year. Trained nurses take the measurements, which are used to calculate a child-specific BMI score based on the child’s age and gender.
Data from the programme details the proportion of children who are an unhealthy weight in England and within each region and county. The data is used to plan and develop services for children and families.
Data relating to obesity levels during the 2021/22 academic school year was published in December 2022, (the first full year of data collection since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic), with reports identifying a significant increase in levels of obesity and severe obesity during this period, in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. Recent data indicated a decrease in obesity levels in comparison to this time last year, but, nevertheless, rates remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels for Year 6 children, (aged 10 to 11 years).
Data for Gloucestershire is in line with national trends, with early signs of increasing obesity prevalence across the county. Such trends are often associated with poverty and health inequality.It was noted that Year 6 obesity levels for the county are significantly lower than the English averages, but remain a concern.
Later in the meeting, a member reiterated concerns about obesity levels in young children and proposed that the committee monitor the situation. It was agreed more work was required, including work to commission a specialist service following a cabinet decision in September 2022 to tender for a provider to deliver a countywide healthier lifestyles, (healthy weight), service for children and young people aged 4-17 years old, (up to 25 years for young people with special educational needs and disability).
Members noted information on the formation of the Gloucestershire Integrated Care Partnership, (ICP), referred to as the One Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Partnership (HWP). The HWP is made up of a broad range of organisations established to work together to improve the care, health and wellbeing of the people living in Gloucestershire. The One Gloucestershire Interim Integrated Care Strategy was agreed by the HWP and published on 22 December 2022.
The report was noted.