Perth City Health

Health and Wellbeing

Perth and Kinross has some of the best health outcomes in Scotland; however, Perth City experiences significantly poorer health outcomes than the rural regions of Perth and Kinross. It is important to recognise that health outcomes vary across the city.

The city is home to the Perth Royal Infirmary and Murray Royal Hospital. There are dental and GP facilities in the city centre and the south of the city.

Key Health Statistics

Health Indicator (per 100,000 population)Year(s)Perth and KinrossScotlandPerth City
Early deaths from CHD (Coronary Heart Disease)(<75 years of age)
Early Deaths from Cancer 2012-14123.2154.7151.4
Alcohol relates Hospital stays2012/15401.5671.7654.7
Deaths from Alcohol Conditions 2010-201419.623.132.3
Drug related hospital stays 2012/13-2014/1580.6122154.4
Patients registered with cancer2011-13574.9634569.7
Patients hospitalised with COPD2011-13466660634.4
Emergency Admissions 2011-13680075007753.5
Population prescribed drugs for anxiety/depression/psychosis (Percentage)

Early deaths (people aged 75 and under) as a result of coronary heart disease, cancer and COPD are also more frequent in Perth City than in the rest of Perth and Kinross; however the rate of people being hospitalised because heart disease illness is similar to the rest of Perth and Kinross. This is significant because, as Perth City has a younger demographic than Perth and Kinross area in its entirety, the rates of hospitalisation should be lower rate than the rest of Perth and Kinross.

The proportion of the population prescribed drugs for anxiety/ depression and psychosis is 16.3% of people in the City which is higher than the other localities in Perth and Kinross. The rate has increased in recent years perhaps because there is a greater awareness of mental health issues. Perth Creative Community Collaborative is a joint initiative between the Council and the NHS Move Ahead project  and supports a range of art classes, writing groups and book clubs for people with mental health issues.

Community Care

As part of the preparation for Health & Social Care Integration, the NHS and Council carried out the ‘Join the Conversation’ consultation. Participants in this consultation suggested that although there are many support services available, they would benefit from being better ‘joined up’.

Many people felt there were gaps, especially in the support provided to carers.

Social isolation was seen as a challenge by respondents, who also said that community groups were really important to them.

Accessibility to primary health care is a significant issue in the Northern part of the city, where there are no GP practices. A number of people highlighted access to their local GP as an issue in the consultation.

The city has the highest rates of single adult households in Perth and Kinross (41.5% of people). Many people living on their own particularly elderly and unemployed people can often feel socially isolated.

NHS Healthy Communities Collaborative

Perth and Kinross Healthy Communities Collaborative is a community led health promotion initiative. It works with older people from specific communities, and empowers them to improve health and quality of life for themselves and their peers. The initiative focuses on a topic selected by the older people, at present ‘mental health and wellbeing in later life’. This topic focuses on the following five barriers to good mental wellbeing in later life:

  • poverty
  • physical health
  • relationships
  • participation in meaningful activity
  • discrimination

This initiative has led to a number of self-sustaining groups. There are over 200 older people involved in local teams which have empowered them to look out for each other, building community resilience.

Within Perth City centre there are many projects that support Mental Helath & Wellbeing serving the whole of Perth & Kinross such as Plus Perth, Mindspace, PKAVS and PAMH.

Positive Minds

This group’s focus is on the building blocks which enable individuals to develop self-confidence and self-esteem through engaging in activities and learning about other the opportunities that are available.


Intergenerational work is a key feature in South Perth City. Moncrieffe Tea Dancers in conjunction with Inchview PS have held joint dance sessions for over 4 years now. The last sessions also included primary children learning more about dementia and disabilities and how they impact on the lives of older people. Further Intergenerational work in the area has  also taken place in conjunction with Perth High School and  included IT support, a community choir , intergenerational games and art projects.

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