Eastern Perthshire Health and Wellbeing

Health outcomes in the locality are mostly more positive than in Scotland, and similar to that of the rest of Perth & Kinross. There are, however, inequalities in health outcomes within Eastern Perthshire.

Health Indicator (per 100,000 population)Year(s)Perth and KinrossScotlandEastern Perthshire
Early deaths from CHD (Coronary Heart Disease)(<75 years of age)
Early Deaths from Cancer 2012-14123.2154.7134.1
Alcohol relates Hospital stays2012/15401.5671.7264.5
Deaths from Alcohol Conditions 2010-201419.623.114.8
Drug related hospital stays 2012/13-2014/1580.612222.7
Patients registered with cancer2011-13574.9634595.3
Patients hospitalised with COPD2011-13466660442.6
Emergency Admissions 2011-13680075006253.5
Population prescribed drugs for anxiety/depression/psychosis (Percentage)

Mortality in people aged 15-44 in Eastern Perthshire are higher than any locality outwith Perth City. However, it should be noted that there has been a decline in recent years.

As part of the preparation for Health & Social Care Integration the NHS and Council carried out ‘join the conversation’. Social Isolation has been identified as a key issue in the locality through the consultation in 2015. Loneliness is a concern for many of the retired people who took part in the consultation in the locality, as it was for older working aged people who are unemployed, as well as adults with mental health issues.

Respondents were generally happy with the number and variety of support services on offer in the locality. There was a feeling that these services could deliver even more positive outcomes by working more closely with one another. Respondents felt that health and social care staff in particular could be working more closely together to allow people to receive treatment and recover in their own community. The integration of health and social care will play a key role in implementing this strategy.

Some respondents experienced challenges in travelling to access services. Transport to hospitals and GP practices were thought to be particularly difficult for some people, particularly people in the more remote towns.

The suicide rate in the Blairgowrie East and Rattray area is statistically higher than in Scotland as a whole. There are a number of services and campaigns in the area aimed at supporting vulnerable people, with a wide approach which acknowledges the importance of both mental health and living conditions in tackling suicide rates.

 Medical Facilities and Wellbeing Services

Eastern Perthshire is served by Perth Royal Infirmary in Perth City, and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. There are 8 GP surgeries in the locality: 2 in Blairgowrie, 2 in Coupar Angus, and 1 each in Alyth, Errol, Scone, and Invergowrie.

Blairgowrie Cottage Hospital is a centre for some community and therapeutic services, and provides 22 beds for inpatients. The hospital is the base for Strathmore Dementia Services, and is a National Dementia Demonstrator Site. Strathmore Dementia Services aim to improve service provision for people living with dementia, and their families.

The Young People’s Health Team works with young people aged 12-25 years old, from Perth & Kinross. The team connects with young people through agency or self-referral. The team reaches out to young people through their communities to offer one-to-one support, heath promoting group work sessions and drop-ins.

The Wellbeing Support Service offers flexible support and activities, which can change and develop over time, depending on what clients would benefit from most.

Wisecraft is located in Blairgowrie, and is a sister agency of The Walled Garden in Perth City. Wisecraft offers structured activities for people with a wide variety of mental health issues. The programme offers arts, craft and joinery workshops, as well as fun exercise classes such as Zumba. Wisecraft also is involved in a number of outdoor activities

A Thriving Third Age

Currently 11,000 people aged 65 and over live alone in P&K, and this is expected to increase in coming years. There are significant health inequalities between individuals in this age range, with those in affluent areas living significantly longer. Work being undertaken by communities to support older people also tends to be concentrated in these affluent areas. Social isolation was also found to be a significant issue.

A growing number of older people are also becoming unpaid carers for spouses and other loved ones, and commissioners found these people need more support and recognition. Commissioners heard of the stigma associated with care homes, which in some cases prevent people making this choice.

In contrast to these challenges, many people are living longer than ever and requiring little to no support until much later in life. These people are a great asset to the communities of P&K, and want to feel valued and be able to continue to contribute to their communities.

Useful Links

Scottish Public Health Observatory

Scottish Health Survey

NHS Scotland- Information Services Division

Health and Social Care Partnership- Join the Conversation