Jersey’s Public Health Department have published the first volume of a new Health Profile of the Island.
This document summarises data collected in 2008 and 2009, and mirrors a similar Health Profile which has been collated by Guernsey’s Public Health Department. Each island has produced their own report, but the work is the result of collaborative working between the Health Intelligence teams in Jersey and Guernsey.
Jersey’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Turnbull said: “The Health Profile, once brought fully up to date, will become an important tool to help the States of Jersey and its Departments set priorities and targets as we strive to lead health improvement in Jersey. The primary function in delivering good public health is first to understand the health of the population. Good data speaks volumes, and this is what the Health Profile is striving to achieve. Work is currently in progress in my Health Intelligence Unit on the 2010/2011 data: I am hopeful it will be ready for publication later this year.”
The Health Profile for Jersey 2008/09 is a retrospective summary of a number of health and health related indicators, compared with those of the UK and Guernsey, where possible. It provides an outline of comparable health data that is being compiled and analysed by Health Intelligence and gives us a basis for any future strategic needs assessment for the island; as well as a comparison with Guernsey 2008 data.
The Health Profile covers topics including the demography of the Island, fertility, maternal and infant health, mortality, sexual health, mental health, disease prevention, lifestyle and a section about the wider determinants of health such as poverty, GCSE results, unemployment, housing affordability, the crime rate, and tooth decay.
Dr Turnbull added: “I am very pleased that this first volume of our new Health Profile is ready for publication. Some of the data will already be familiar, and we have taken action in response to the data when it was first collected: for instance, the high suicide rate we observed in 2009, and the evidence of the serious harm alcohol causes. As we publish subsequent reports year by year, we have a much better understanding of trends in health determinants and in health outcomes, with more robust evidence than we have had before to push for better health for the people of this Island. The 2008/9 Profile is no more than a snapshot of the situation a few years ago.
Health Profiles are produced by many countries and regional authorities as a way of improving public access to health-related information. The Profile provides a position statement for Islanders about various aspects of our population’s health, which can be monitored for changes over time.”