Examining the impact of local public policy on cardiovascular disease across the borough of Wigan. This study includes all policy linking and relating to nutrition, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol. The study assesses the potential population health impact of policy modification and considers the potential support for policy change at a local authority level.
In conducting this study, the authors considered international published evidence of 'what works', sought national consensus from a range of leading experts on the potential health impact of policy modification and attempted to secure local consensus amongst senior decision makers across the borough, on how receptive local conditions are to change or introduce related policy.
Regeneration, planning, licensing, income, housing, education and employment are all major factors in the ill health that people experience and these are affected by regulation at a European, national and local level. However policies and strategies across these areas are not routinely analysed for the potential effects on health and well-being in the same way as they are for economic or environmental impact and as such a policy introduced to tackle a certain issue can often lead to negative health consequences.
There are opportunities for appropriate measures locally, which promote and protect public health at a population level. These may have specific public health outcomes in mind – such as licensing and sales laws to control alcohol supply – or they may have alternative objectives, which nevertheless, if planned appropriately, may help to address health issues. Examples are inner city regeneration, local planning legislation, or congestion charging, which can all indirectly influence health. ,Locally, through creating the right environment across the borough, it is estimated that we could prevent 600 premature deaths in the borough each year (Source NCHOD). The report therefore examines the health impact in relation to the four areas of alcohol, nutrition, physical activity and tobacco.