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NHS doctors call for more active travel measures to help 'society's most deprived'

"Many of our patients do not have the financial means, health status, or abilities to access private car transport".....

A group of senior Edinburgh based NHS staff have called upon the government to improve active travel measures to benefit society's most deprived and combat the climate emergency. 

In an open letter addressed to the City Council, the group said that as healthcare professionals they  'have a responsibility to speak up for disadvantaged groups who are disproportionately vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the climate crisis.'

They added: "Deprivation is strongly associated with poor health outcomes. Premature death remains four times higher in the most deprived areas of Scotland compared with the least deprived areas."

The letter highlighted that In NHS Lothian, the most deprived areas have 67 per cent more deaths than the overall average.

Those living in areas of deprivation are also less likely to drive but much more likely to be injured in a road traffic collision.

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The letter continued: "Many of our patients do not have the financial means, health status, or abilities to access private car transport.

"Children, the frail elderly, and people with chronic illnesses or disabilities are disadvantaged in opportunities to access services and community by systems which prioritise private car transport.

"Moves to promote safe active travel, including widening of pavements and provision of segregated paths, make the urban environment more accessible for people with disabilities and release road space for reliable and efficient public transport.

"Measures to improve the urban environment and promote active travel in Edinburgh will differentially benefit the most disadvantaged members of our community and so help to reduce health inequalities in Edinburgh."

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The group drew attention to the effect air pollution had on health and warned of the 'concerning' levels in some parts of Edinburgh.

They concluded by imploring the government to look closely at the increased physical activity levels that result from better segregated infrastructure. 

"Local government in Edinburgh has the potential to lead a bold and exemplary modal shift away from car-dependence which will benefit and protect the health of the people of Edinburgh."

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15 comments

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chrisonabike | 2 years ago
0 likes

And some of those who could benefit (going Labour just to subvert the "left wing bias" here):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Prescott#Health_concerns

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Abbott#Personal_life

And someone who did (I don't know if this was cycling specifically):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Watson_(Labour_politician)#Personal_life

Avatar
chrisonabike | 2 years ago
3 likes

But but but what about the children who'll get run over and all the pedestrians who won't be able to safely leave their houses for exercise because cyclists and the old trapped at home without cars and the huge increase in head injuries because not everyone wears a helment and how will the ambulances get to them?

Anyway here's some more heretical literature by that commie liberal mamil Guardianista Peter Walker:

https://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/The-Miracle-Pill/Peter-Walker/9781471192524

And a couple of reviews from familiar places:

https://www.cyclinguk.org/article/peter-walker-miracle-pill

https://rdrf.org.uk/2021/02/14/review-peter-walker-the-miracle-pill/

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hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
2 likes

//wp-files.dealerrefresh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/disturbance_vehiclelisting_force.png)

I felt a great disturbance in the Force as if millions several comments were deleted

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Hirsute replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
1 like

I did email saying the forums were being spammed by one user so the mods must have taken action already.

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mdavidford replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

//wp-files.dealerrefresh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/disturbance_vehiclelisting_force.png)

I felt a great disturbance in the Force as if millions several comments were deleted

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TheBillder replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
4 likes

Bit of a shame, really - we've lost Rendel's Scoliland pun. And frankly the puns are what keep me wasting time here.

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Rendel Harris replied to TheBillder | 2 years ago
1 like

I've got a lot more rubbish where that came from, don't you worry!

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
1 like

I'm guessing it was the whiffy man from the Assault thread claiming it is ok to beat up cyclists for holding up decent, hard working people for a nanosecond?

God knows what he was posting here. A rant that we don't contribute to the NHS? Or that why should Scotland impose their will on England and the Doctors should be Willaim Wallace'd and displayed around the rest of Scotland as a warning?

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
2 likes

I'm sure that this is yet another story in that endless series about active travel that will be covered by the media 24/7 for months, so totally unlike their electric car coverage; a new series starts tomorrow on R4 about them.

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iandusud | 2 years ago
2 likes

"The letter highlighted that In NHS Lothian, the most deprived areas have 67 per cent more deaths than the overall average."

I would have thought that the death rate was the same everywhere: 100%

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mdavidford replied to iandusud | 2 years ago
2 likes

Depends - maybe people are moving there from other areas specifically to die.

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TheBillder replied to iandusud | 2 years ago
1 like

If you have an area with population 100 and life expectancy is 100, in 100 years everyone dies.If life expectancy is 50, 200 people die in 100 years. So the rate per annum is different, which I think is what they mean.

Scotland's health inequalities are pretty severe - men in the most deprived areas have a 13+ year life expectancy gap to the least deprived. What's even more shocking is that across the country, healthy life expectancy is less than 62 years for men and women, and the gap between most and least deprived areas on that measure is 25 years for men and 21 for women.

So if you're poor, life is still short and shite, basically.

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Flintshire Boy replied to TheBillder | 2 years ago
0 likes

Yeh, yeh yeh.

But Hobbes was saying that four hundred and seventy years ago.

He beat you to it, then (!!)

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wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
4 likes

Can't be right, every time they talk about bringing in LTNs there is a backlash about loss of accesibility for deprived groups/pensioners/children etc.

/sarcasm

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hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
4 likes

So, it seems that people/government needs to decide which is more important - people's lives and well-being or more car dependence.

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