Director of Public Health Annual Report

The Director of Public Health Annual Report focuses on how the health and wellbeing of children and young people is being supported in schools in Plymouth.

Entitled Feel Better Do Better: Thrive Plymouth in Schools, it is the first annual report of Dr Ruth Harrell, who became Director of Public Health in January 2017.

The report describes school years as a critical time for children and young people to develop the knowledge and skills to look after their health and wellbeing.   Giving children and young people the opportunity to grow and learn in healthy environments can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing for their whole lifetime. 

Highlighted in the report is the significant and varied work that schools and other partners are doing to support children and young people.

The report highlights the evidence that:

  • healthy children and young people not only feel better but are also more likely to learn better
  • schools that promote health and wellbeing are able to bring about improvements in the health of pupils.

The report also presents findings from a survey carried out amongst secondary school pupils about five lifestyle factors – smoking, eating, drinking, moving and mental wellbeing. Although good progress has been made in results for drinking, smoking and moving, there is more work to be done on healthy eating and supporting mental wellbeing. This links well to mental wellbeing as the focus of year four of Thrive Plymouth, the city’s ten year programme to improve health and reduce health inequalities.

The report recognises that there is shared responsibility to support the children and young people to have the best start to life and be healthy.  It challenges organisations and partners across the city to do more to support children and young people and their schools in doing this.

 Director of Public Health Annual Report 2017 [PDF, 15MB]

Download Public Health Annual Report 2015/16 [PDF 9.2MB]