Agenda item

Public Health Update - Diane Lee (Sac.23.04.2021/5)


Diane Lee, Head of Public Health, provided an update in relation to the recently undertaken ‘A day in the life of…’ exercise.   Members of the public had been asked to complete a diary, giving details of their feelings on 3rd November, which enabled a greater understanding of the impact of Covid-19 on everyday life.


320 diaries had been completed with 191 A4 pages of narrative.  Comments had been arranged under key themes.


There was a clear mix of feelings, with many reporting impacts on mental health, increased anxiety: feeling worried about themselves and their children.  However, many recognised that this would be temporary, and it was ok to feel this way. 


There were also positives in that the pandemic allowed many to undertake things they may not normally have time for.  Many had explored the natural environment on their doorstep and had been able to support local businesses


With some working from home, the need to have a separation of home and work was acknowledged.    The increased social isolation, both at work and home was noted, and the realisation that many people were isolated and lonely prior to the pandemic.  However, for some there had been an increase in community spirit and the ability to build local relationships.


The pandemic had meant an impact on health, with more unhealthy food consumed, less exercise and an impact on the quality of sleep.  The hidden harm from cancelled appointments and operations was also acknowledged.  Members noted that report did contain signposting for support to relevant agencies.


A suggestion was made to address isolation, build community spirit, and improve health by introducing more walking groups in the area. It was agreed that colleagues in Communities and Public Health explore this further.


RESOLVED that the report be noted.

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