Dorset health leaders vow to do more to tackle heart disease

A report has called on organisations and communities in Dorset to rise to the challenge of tackling heart disease and strokes.

Although there have been improvements in cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and strokes, in Dorset over many years, current data shows the improvements are starting to slow and rates are increasing in some areas.

The annual report of Dr David Phillips, director of Public Health Dorset,  which is a partnership of Bournemouth Borough Council, Borough of Poole, and Dorset County Council, sets out recommendations to turn this around.

Dr Phillips said: “Heart disease and strokes are conditions many of us will have had experience of, either personally or in friends and family. The reason for choosing this topic is not only that it is important to a lot of people but also, we have recently seen some concerning changes in rates of this condition locally. The additional importance is that any effective response to it involves individuals, communities, and many parts of our public services.”

Recommendations from the report include a focus on prevention in all areas of public sector commissioning, use of the new LiveWell Dorset service to support people to change their lifestyles, focus on areas with the highest levels of need and poorest use of services, making sure people can access appropriate care out-of-hours, supporting smokefree homes, and work in partnership to support healthy diets, physical activity, development and use of green spaces and sustainable transport.

“There is no reason to believe this trend will reverse without effective action, given that death rates are driven by risk factors such as diabetes, obesity and physical inactivity, which are increasing rather than decreasing,” said Dr Phillips. “We all need to look at what we can do differently, including learning from what has worked elsewhere.

“While cardiovascular disease is an important health problem in its own right, it shares its origins and development with other important conditions, including cancer, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. So, any actions to reduce cardiovascular disease rates will have a positive impact on ill health and death in other diseases too.”


Published on:
10/09/2015, 15:58