Torbay, around the Victorian era, was a haven for ‘invalids’ who needed some fresh sea air to flush out their systems- but just how healthy is the English Riviera?
According to a recent survey, it is not as clear-cut as one would think. As of a survey in 2015, it was discovered that though destitution in general is lower than the English average, 21% (4200) of children are classed as impoverished under the Public Health England’s standards- which is worse than the English average. This certainly seems a sweeping statement, but it isn’t uncommon for children in poverty to go under the radar in the UK- an issue the Department of Health (who started Public Health England in 2013) seems to be trying to gauge.
Complicated figures like this seem to be dominant, as though life expectancy is approximately equal to the country’s average, in the least affluent areas of Torbay men land women live 7.9 years and 6.3 years less respectively. Suggesting a widely varied quality of life and health across the region, though largely we are similar to the rest of the country in terms of the lengths of our lives.
Mental Health and Stimulants: Out of a population of approximately 130,000 (estimate as of 2013) there is 316 hospital stays for self-harm in Torbay a year- higher than the national average. Both opiate and crack use, as well as alcohol related hospital stays is higher than the English average (for both under and over 18s). This could be to do with the nightlife in Torquay- this could signify an increased level of education regarding such substances is needed for young people, before the average age they would be exposed to drugs and alcohol, in order to prevent the problem, instead of waiting for there to be a problem and going from there.
In terms of smoking and deaths caused by smoking, we are in fact around the national average, however it is another case of complex figures, as even though our smoking levels are not unusual, our rate of smoking among pregnant women is higher than the national average- despite the amount of smokers falling to 15.5% of people in the region- the lowest rate ever recorded, falling by 14.5% the second biggest decline in terms of smoking in the whole of the Uk. This perhaps signifies more support is needed to help pregnant mothers quit- even if it is just during their pregnancy.
Illnesses: As a whole, in terms of illness, Torbay is a relatively average area. Both obesity in children (from year 6) and adults is average- perhaps as a direct result of the number of physically active adults being average in the region as well. Malignant Melanoma cases are significantly more prevalent in Torquay, than they are on average across England- maybe due to our sunny beaches, making more people spend time in the sun than in a landlocked area. Recorded diabetes is also higher than average in this region. However, Torquay seems like a good area for the younger generation to reside in as the cardiovascular deaths for the under 75s in Torquay are around average and the cancer related deaths of the under 75s and hip fractures in the under 65s are under the nation’s average. Instances of TB are significantly below the nation’s average and infant mortality
Hence, Torquay is a complex area in terms of health, but generally we seem to not stray to far from the nation’s average, but we perhaps need to address the divides across our area in terms of the quality of life which has a direct impact on life expectancy of our residents.