Worse than a chocolate teapot

Public Health Suffolk, part of Suffolk County Council, have just issued a report “A Time to Change: Working Towards Better Health for All in Suffolk” focussing on health inequalities in the communities,.
PHS pride themselves that the report is in digital form but you would be hard pressed to find the strategies and policies required to alleviate health inequalities.
The report was featured in the East Anglian Daily Times of 8th December with the comment that the data was from between 2009 and 2013 (apparently the latest available).
Which prompts the question “Why bother?” There are plenty of more current health inequality indications. The most obvious are reports from doctors’ surgeries as to local illnesses and prescriptions. Similarly, you could also identify hot areas by looking at the incidence of free school meals. You do not have to look at data which is seven years old.
It might be appropriate for a Ph.D. research student, but it cannot be the basis for decision making on current requirements.
So once again we have a local government department spending time and money producing fatuous reports so that they can tick a box and pat themselves on the back for a job done.
Neither Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public health nor the council’s opposition Labour spokesperson picked up on the lack of uptodate data. Nor did they outline what the Board’s strategies might be as to the housing, nutrition, education, employment and other matters which lead to health inequalities.
But hey ho, another report issued another box ticked and another job done before Christmas.
Heaven knows how much this report cost but you have to ask yourself how can one change such institutional attitudes.

One thought on “Worse than a chocolate teapot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.