DAMNING figures have disclosed that men in Bulwell die almost TEN YEARS younger than counterparts in other areas of Nottingham.
The statistics show the town suffers from poor levels of health and high levels of obesity, illness and deprivation.
They so shocked the town’s Labour MP, Graham Allen, that he declared: “This was not acceptable in Dickens’s time and it is not acceptable today.”
An action-group leader says he hopes the figures “hit Bulwell right between the eyes as a real wake-up call”.
Now the town has launched a major new initiative, called ‘Get Fit, Get Healthy, Get Involved’, in a bid to improve the health of its residents.
The startling figures come from profiles created for every district in the country by the Department Of Health (DOH).
The most deprived areas of Nottingham, which include Bulwell, suffer so badly from poor health that life-expectancy is wildly lower-than-average. Men in the town are estimated, on average, to die 9.2 years earlier than men in affluent areas of the city, such as Wollaton.
In Bulwell, that translates to a life-expectancy of 71.5 years, compared with up to 80.7 elsewhere in Nottingham.
Women have a life-expectancy 8.4 years lower than some of their peers. That’s a difference from 84.8 years to 76.4.
Mr Allen, who himself lives in the town, said: “It is extremely concerning that some of my constituents die almost ten years earlier than in the most affluent parts of the city. These figures are extremely worrying.”
The ambitious ‘Get Fit, Get Healthy, Get Involved’ scheme, which will run for a year, aims to build activity into everyday life to boost health and wellbeing.
It is the brainchild of the Bulwell Forest Action Group and SNC Active, which runs the sports centre at the former Henry Mellish School on Highbury Road.
The launch, which attracted 250 people, included taster sessions in kwik cricket, karate, football and zumba, a form of dance-based aerobics. Health assessments were carried out and visitors got the chance to sign up to groups, including a weekly walking club.
But there is a long way to go if an impact is to be made on Bulwell’s health diagnosis.
For other figures from the DOH report suggest that more than one-in-five ten-year-olds and 11-year-olds in the town are obese.
There are also higher-than-average rates of death from cancer, heart disease, stroke, smoking-related illnesses and alcohol-fuelled problems.
Bill Blackamore, of the Bulwell Forest Action Group, said: “Figures from the health profile should hit people right between the eyes and be a real wake-up call.
“All the evidence suggests a small amount of activity can drastically improve your quality of life. Men, in particular, are not taking this seriously.
“It doesn’t even have to cost. The excuse that people can’t afford it doesn’t wash.
“This should be a lifelong commitment. Get up, get healthy and improve your life. That’s the message.”
Several key priorities were pinpointed in the health profile, including tackling high rates of teenage pregnancy, smoking and deaths from heart disease.
But Mr Allen added: “Nottingham’s local doctors, nurses and health workers are doing some great work, particularly on teenage pregnancy, which is recognised in this profile.
“But unfortunately, they are locked in an uphill struggle against deprivation, with reducing help from the government.
“I am pleased that over the last ten years, early death-rates from cancer, heart disease and stroke have fallen.
“But these, along with other health measures, remain worse in Bulwell than the national average.”