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Positive assessment for Warminster from NHS healthcheck

(March 19, 2010)
A SERIES of new statistics compiled in a ground-breaking study paints a comparatively rosy picture of life in the Warminster area.
The study is the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment which, for the first time has seen the NHS, council, police and other care organisations join forces to assess exactly where we are and what needs to be done.
The study splits the county into 20 so-called community areas, which means that 'Warminster' is made up of its 17,400 town population plus another 6,000 people from surrounding villages.
VisionforWarminster has already had a good look at what has been produced so far and the statistics are very promising.
Life expectancy in this community area is better than any other which includes a similar sized market town. A man in Warminster (using figures compiled between 2004-06) could expect to live 80.8 years while a woman here has a life expectancy of 84.3 years - since then the smoking ban has been introduced and is expected to significantly boost these figures.
Other towns such as Westbury, Trowbridge, Salisbury and Devizes all have male life expectancy rates of less than 79. Mere on the other hand is 82.6.
Teenage pregnancy rates in Warminster are the seventh lowest at 22 per 1,000 while with hospital admissions due to alcohol we are again in the best performing half.
We were eighth best when, in 2008, people were asked whether their health was good and 78 per cent of people here said it was.
FAT1We do less well when it comes to smoking and childhood obesity.
According to the statistics more than 20 per cent of Warminster's population smokes whereas in better educated areas such as Malmesbury the figure is only 15 per cent.
Likewise Warminster has almost a quarter of its children judged as obese compared to just 12 per cent in places like Pewsey.
''These tables make interesting reading and NHS Wiltshire should be commended for producing them and bringing them to the attention of policymakers,'' said Steve Dancey.
''No doubt the 600 soldiers based in Warminster help push up the smoking percentage here as around half of all servicemen still smoke.
''The worrying obesity figures suggest that extra effort should be make to encourage more physical activity on the part of children.
''We have long argued for a play strategy specifically designed for Warminster so hopefully those who are in a position of power will take heed and come up with some imaginative proposals to address this matter.'' (see the Young people section in the vision document)

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