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Over 70,000 local deaths could be avoided through making better lifestyle choices

At least 70,000 local deaths over the next 25 years could be avoided if local people were to make healthier lifestyle choices. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group is raising awareness of these shocking figures as it enters the final week of the BIG conversation, a campaign that encourages the public to submit their views about health care in the local area.

Research undertaken by your local Clinical Commissioning Group found that over 50% of premature deaths from cardiovascular (heart) disease could be avoided if local people quit smoking, stuck to guidelines for alcohol consumption, ate a healthy diet and didn’t misuse drugs. A further 30% of premature deaths due to cancer and 35% of premature deaths from chronic respiratory disease could be avoided by following healthy living guidance.

Even a small change could make a big difference: if everyone in the local area with a BMI (body mass index) of over 30 managed to reduce their BMI by just two points, this would result in almost 20,000 fewer premature deaths over the next 25 years. This would save the local NHS almost £200 million over this time period.

Looking at smoking in particular, for every person who gives up smoking the local health and social care budget would save £3,945 over the smoker’s lifetime. With an estimated 100,000 smokers currently living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, this would add up to £394.5 million saved over the lifetimes of all smokers as well as a 15% improvement in years of life lost prematurely. The NHS offers a range of resources to help people make healthy lifestyle choices, including support to quit smoking and help to keep to a better diet. These resources can be found online via www.nhs.uk/live-well and can also be accessed by speaking to your GP. Local information to help residents make healthy lifestyle choices can be found on Cambridgeshire County Council’s Be Well website and  Peterborough City Council’s Healthy Peterborough website.

Associate Director of Clinical Outcomes and Population Health at the CCG, Dr Fiona Head, said:

“Research shows the significant impact that unhealthy lifestyle choices can have both on an individual’s health and on the health and care system as a whole. By making healthier lifestyle choices, people can reduce their risk of premature death at the same time as freeing up NHS and social care funding for other purposes.  Healthy choices such as using cars less and walking more are also good for the planet.

“Part of our role is to help people to make healthy lifestyle changes. Another is to work with and listen to the local communities we serve. This is why we’ve launched the BIG conversation – 10 simple questions, one BIG conversation.  We’d encourage everyone in the local area to visit www.bit.ly/NHSBigConversation to learn more about the campaign and to submit their views.”

The CCG is calling for everyone to take responsibility for their health risks by making strong lifestyle choices and is inviting the public in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to make their opinions regarding the health care provided in the local area heard during the BIG conversation.

Residents are encouraged to visit www.bit.ly/NHSBigConversation to find out more about the campaign, and to fill in the survey to voice their views.

17/12/2019