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Health takes centre stage in Poverty Commission’s work

Investigating the link between poverty and ill-health has been at the forefront of the latest meeting of Renfrewshire’s Tackling Poverty Commission.

The independent Commission was set up by Renfrewshire Council and held its first meeting last month.
The Tackling Poverty Commission brings together a wide range of local and national expertise backed by community involvement.

It is hosting a series of meetings running to the end of the year before producing a series of recommended actions which will be considered by Renfrewshire councillors in 2015.

The latest meeting of the Commission (30 May)focused on health and well-being.

The health challenges facing Renfrewshire include the fact that the area has an increasing number of areas within the 15% most deprived datazones in Scotland.

Overall, Renfrewshire has the lowest male and female life average life expectancy of a group of eight local authorities with similar populations and social and economic profiles.

Sir Harry Burns, former Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and now Professor of Global Health at the University of Strathclyde, is one of the lead Commission members on health and well-being, along with Dr Linda de Caestecker, Director of Public Health with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

“Health inequality doesn’t exist in isolation,” said Sir Harry. “Inequality in health is a consequence of underlying inequality.

“In terms of health, that results in ill health and low life expectancy rates affecting too may individuals, as well as the debilitating health-related problems which affect all aspects of the lives of families and communities.

“I have been very encouraged by the inspiring commitment of the members of the Tackling Poverty Commission and I am very optimistic we will come up with new and effective proposals for Renfrewshire.”

Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.