Hartlepool ranked as fifth unhealthiest place in England in ONS Health Index
Hartlepool has been ranked as the fifth unhealthiest place in England as part of a new index on the nation’s health.
The scores, collected by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and financial services company Lane Clark & Peacock (LCP), were created by combining different health factors to create a ranking for each local authority area.
Hartlepool was given an overall ranking of 92.3, placing it in position 145 out of 149 locations – fifth from the bottom of the list.
Blackpool, in position 149, was ranked as England’s unhealthiest place with a score of 86.4.
Kingston upon Hull (91), Stoke-on-Trent (91.4) and Middlesbrough (91.6) all make up the rest of top five of the unhealthiest areas in the country.
The data set also revealed that the North East is the unhealthiest region in England.
It was given an overall rating of 95.9, compared with a high score of 102.5 in the South East – the healthiest of the regions.
LCP analysis of the data shows that there is substantial geographic differences and a clear North/South divide within England in terms of public health quality.
The study – made up of data from 2015-2018 – took into account issues beyond illness, such as living standards or lifestyle behaviours of those living in a location.
A score was then given based on three categories; healthy people, healthy lives and healthy places.
Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard, head of LCP’s Health Analytics team, says the Government needs to act on data, highlighting that any inequalities across the country impacting on public health may have further widened due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “The numbers reveal clear and substantial differences across England and should be a wake-up call to the Government to deliver on its manifesto pledge to level up regional inequalities.
"While there is some encouragement to be had from slight improvements in measures related to wellbeing and mortality, these have been cancelled out by worsening mental and physical health morbidity.
"These may have deteriorated further as a result of Covid-19.
“Being able to identify the components that account for the variations in the index over time and across populations, both by geography and deprivation, provides the opportunity to take a data-driven approach to investing in communities and build back better in 2021.”