The borough tops the new Health Index for England, a measure being developed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to understand the health of the nation. The health index is intended to track progress in improving health and health outcomes across England and is based on data from 2015 to 2018.
The new measure looks at people’s health, focusing on health outcomes including life expectancy, long term medical conditions, mental health and personal wellbeing; healthy behaviours including weight, healthy eating, alcohol and drug use, unemployment and protective health measures such as cancer screening and vaccination uptake; and healthy places which looks at environmental factors including access to green spaces, housing, air and noise pollution, access to GP services and sports facilities and crime.
Leader of the council, John Halsall, said: “This is great news. It’s not surprising though as I’ve known for years what a wonderful place to live Wokingham borough is and we work hard to ensure our residents have access to facilities and services to maximise their emotional and physical health and wellbeing, such as good housing and schools, state of the art sports and leisure facilities, lots of open green spaces and access to nature, vibrant towns and villages and great transport connections to the rest of the country.
“This index is based on data that is now a few years old. It doesn’t take into account the impact of the last year. But even through this year of the pandemic, we have been working very hard to ensure all our residents and businesses have the support they need to get through this.”
The health index is currently under development. The data is available on the ONS website.
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