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Theme 3: Prevent early death and increase years of healthy life

Summary :: Our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy :: Theme 3: Prevent early death and increase years of healthy life

This theme focuses mainly on improving healthcare to prevent early death and improve quality of life. This includes improving early diagnosis and therefore allowing more timely intervention which can significantly improve outcomes in some diseases.

The leading causes of early death and illness in Medway include cancer, circulatory disease (e.g. heart attack, stroke and heart failure) and respiratory disease, conditions that share many common causes. Over recent decades public health action and improved health care have led to dramatic reductions in the number of deaths from these causes. For example, the mortality rate from heart attacks in Medway fell 85 per cent from 108 to 17 per 100,000 between 1993 and 2010. About half of this reduction was due to improved health care and half was due to public health measures, such as reductions in smoking.

Approximately 2,150 Medway residents die each year (2,197 deaths registered in 2017).[1] The all-age, all-cause mortality rate is statistically significantly higher in Medway than in both England and the South East (2015).[2]

There are also differences in life expectancy between the wards. Average life expectancy in Cuxton and Halling, Hempstead and Wigmore, Rainham Central, Lordswood and Capstone, and Rainham North is significantly greater than 10 wards including Chatham Central, Watling, and Gillingham South wards. Life expectancy is highest in Cuxton and Halling at 85.1 years, and lowest in Chatham Central at 78 years (2013 to 2017).[3]

Most people with long-term conditions have a single condition and can be helped to manage their condition at relatively low cost. However, as people age, and if prevention and treatment are not optimal, more people begin to develop other conditions. As the number and severity of these conditions increases the complexity and cost of managing them becomes much greater. Addressing these conditions requires well-integrated health and social care systems.


• Determine the drivers behind Medway's consistently high cancer mortality rates
• Promote cancer screening, including supporting the Time to Test campaign
• Support action being taken to reduce variation in quality of primary care across Medway


[1]   Office for National Statistics. Death registrations in England and Wales, summary tables: 2016 2017;
[2]   Public Health England. Directly Age Standardised Mortality Rate (ASMR), Persons, All Ages
[3]   Medway Public Health Intelligence Team. Primary Care Mortality Database Analysis