●● WITH Dr Paul Bowen, a GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton, and executive chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). EASTERN Cheshire is a great place to live for many reasons – we have beautiful countryside, vibrant towns and wonderful history – and we live longer here than almost anywhere else.
Indeed, NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG has the second lowest rate of ‘potential years of lost life’ (PYLL) of all CCGs nationally.
This means that, apart from Richmond in south west London, Eastern Cheshire has the lowest rate of premature deaths in the country. The CCG is made up of 23 GP practices, including those in Macclesfield, Bollington and Poynton, and is responsible for planning and buying healthcare services for more than 200,000 people.
PYLL is a measure of deaths occurring in under-75s, and a decrease in the rate of PYLL is an indication that the health of a population is improving.
In September 2014, the CCG received information from the Office of National Statistics that we had achieved a 20.7 per cent reduction in PYLL.
Since that time, my colleagues here and in the public health team at Cheshire East Council have conducted considerable analysis and concluded that this result can be attributed to a number of factors.
These include having healthcare services in place when needed and positive take up of effective preventative measures, such as flu jabs.
Eastern Cheshire residents taking up opportunities for cervical, bowel and breast screening have also contributed.
Furthermore, we know the main causes of earlier deaths in the area are cardiovascular disease (diseases of the heart or blood vessels), lung disease and cancers – and all of these areas have improved. This PYLL score is nothing short of remarkable and is testament to the hard work being done by all healthcare practitioners across eastern Cheshire.
However, we never rest on our laurels and will use this success as a springboard to further increase the longevity of our population.
I would also encourage eastern Cheshire residents to continue their good work by taking up opportunities for screening and taking key preventative actions to improve health, such as increasing exercise and stopping smoking.
There is a smoking cessation service at Macclesfield Hospital - call 0800 085 8818 or email ecn-tr. kickstartstopsmoking@ nhs.net for details.
●● Dr Paul Bowen