Sue Symington smiling and the text 'As I see it - the latest blog from Sue Symington'

As I see it – the latest blog from Sue Symington

For the second consecutive year, our Partnership proudly supported the Business Day at Bridlington Spa. This event offers a unique platform for engaging with local employers who are deeply committed to the health of their workforce and the wellbeing of their community.

There is a powerful connection between a strong economy and a healthy population. A vibrant, inclusive economy supports healthy living, while a healthy population drives productivity and economic growth.

In the North of England, productivity lags behind the rest of the country, largely due to poorer health outcomes among the population. In Humber and North Yorkshire, we face stark inequalities that undoubtedly impact our economy:

  • Preventable deaths: More than 2,700 people die each year from preventable causes, many related to smoking.
  • High smoking rates: The region struggles with some of the highest smoking rates in the UK, costing £57 million annually.
  • Poverty: Over 200,000 residents live in poverty, including over 60,000 children in low-income families.
  • Childhood obesity: Nearly a quarter of primary school children in Reception are overweight or obese, with the figure rising to 33% in Year 6. This is projected to reach 50% in areas of high deprivation by 2040.
  • Ageing population: By 2040, one in seven people will be aged over 75, and one in five adults will have a major illness.

We know that if we work collectively to address these inequalities and improve the health of those who live and work in the North of England, economic benefits will follow. These benefits include higher employment rates, increased wages, and a boost in productivity.

A healthier workforce is more likely to be employed and remain employed. Healthier individuals experience increased happiness and require fewer sick days.

Promoting good health and preventing illness is the cornerstone of creating a healthier population and a flourishing economy. Our Partnership has already made strong progress in tackling high smoking rates across Humber and North Yorkshire, addressing the leading cause of preventable deaths.

Despite this, too many people are still living too many years in poor health and dying earlier than they should.

By working with local businesses, we can begin to address health inequalities and the broader determinants of health in our most deprived communities. Together, we can make positive progress in our areas of focus for health outcomes:

  • Reducing harm from cancer
  • Cutting cardiovascular disease
  • Living with frailty
  • Enabling mental wellbeing and resilience

Our goal is to promote the idea that good health really is everyone’s business!