£15.7m given to Portsmouth to help the poorest live longer

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BRIDGING the gap between life expectancy and health inequalities will be the top priority for Portsmouth.

That’s the message given in a report from Dr Andrew Mortimore, the interim director of public health for the city.

According to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, a man in Buckland is expected to live for 69.9 years.

But if he lived in Portsdown, he could potentially live until the age of 83.5.

The top three causes for male death in the city are coronary heart disease, liver disease and respiratory problems.

The report also states smoking is the main reason for the gap in life expectancy between rich and poor.

And the other two main lifestyle factors contributing to the gap are alcohol and obesity.

A deprivation map shows it is most experienced by people living in Charles Dickens and Paulsgrove wards.

While the least is found in Farlington and Drayton.

Nationally, Portsmouth is ranked the 75th most deprived out of 326 local authorities.

Next month, Portsmouth City Council will get a ring-fenced grant of £15.7m, to be spent on public health.

In to a report presented to the council’s health, overview and scrutiny panel, five points have been drafted up that need to be focused on, in order to help bridge the gap.

These are:

· Give the best possible start in life by concentrating on the pre-birth to five-years-old age group.

· Help young people to be ready, willing and able to work.

· Create a better environment for people to live, work and play.

· Encourage healthy lifestyles by helping people to stop smoking, lose weight and drink less.

· Maintain maximum independence and dignity in old age.

In addition, around £600,000 will be made available to Portsmouth, via the Public Health Grant.

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