Highland and Strathtay Health and Wellbeing

Overall, Highland and Strathtay has some of the best health outcomes in Perth & Kinross, and Scotland. However, breaking down the locality into smaller areas or looking at specific groups of people within the locality highlights inequalities in health outcomes.

The emergency admissions rate is lower in Highland & Strathtay than in any other locality in Perth & Kinross. This is partly because the area has better health outcomes. This is also likely to be linked to the distance of hospitals from some of the more remote communities; under these circumstances. People tend to uses community based health facilities (such as their local GP) before visiting a hospital.

Indicators suggest that alcohol and substance abuse are not a widespread problem in the locality. Deaths from alcohol conditions are rarer than in Perth City, however substantially higher than the other 3 rural localities at 19 deaths per 100,000 population in 2014.


Health Indicator (per 100,000 population)Year(s)Perth and KinrossScotlandHighland and
Early deaths from CHD (Coronary Heart Disease)(<75 years of age)
Early Deaths from Cancer 2012-14123.2154.7127.3
Alcohol relates Hospital stays2012/15401.5671.7248.8
Deaths from Alcohol Conditions 2010-201419.623.119.0
Drug related hospital stays 2012/13-2014/1580.612235.3
Patients registered with cancer2011-13574.9634556.8
Patients hospitalised with COPD2011-13466660316
Emergency Admissions 2011-13680075006090.3
Population prescribed drugs for anxiety/depression/psychosis (Percentage)

There are lower rates of diseases such as cancer, COPD, Coronary heart disease, asthma. Prescription of drugs for anxiety, depression and psychosis is lower than the rest of Perth & Kinross however has increased in recent years from 10.8% of the population to 14.1%.

Health and Social Care Integration engagement has identified two key areas for development. Carers for people and support for those at transition stages in their lives, such as coping with bereavement. Overcoming barriers to participation for those with enduring or recovering from mental health issues has also been identified as a gap. Successful arts activities during the Health and Wellbeing Festival were well received, indicating a potential development. A key issue remains the impact of rural and social isolation within the smaller communities in Highland and Strathtay which has directly affects the mental health and wellbeing of some community members.

Provision for older people to engage in learning or developing skills or new interests, digitally linking into technology, signposting participants or learners to other relevant activities or services, and supporting intergenerational opportunities is a successful area of partnership delivery. Projects such as Blethers in Ballinluig and the community writing projects leading to publication, Life as we Know it and BreadAtholl, Brose have involved a wide number of community groupings in creatively celebrating their locality.

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