People in England can now see how their area is performing on the major killers, like heart disease and cancer, and where their area ranks against other areas across the country.
This is thanks to longerlives.phe.org.uk, a new Public Health England (PHE) website that uses a traffic-light rating system to award areas performing above average in relation to avoidable deaths a green rating, while the worst performing areas are given a red rating.
By bringing together the data on premature deaths it is hoped that local councils will be able to gain insight, take action and better target efforts to improve the public’s health.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
“I want areas to use the data released today to identify local public health challenges like smoking, drinking and obesity and to take action to help achieve our ambition for saving 30,000 lives a year by 2020.
“Being more transparent will also allow professionals and the public to see how their local area is performing over time, allowing them to intervene and make improvements happen.”
The website provides examples of best practice from local authorities that now have the responsibility for improving public health in their local area. Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is also provided, as are links to information about each cause of mortality from NHS Choices that users and members of the public may find helpful in improving their health.
This data is the first information to be rolled out as part of the government’s plans to provide the public and health professionals with clear easy accessible information on how health and care services are doing by area.
New data is expected to be added on a regular basis and there are plans to respond to feedback from health professionals and users.