Norwich UK Healthy City



The picture of Norwich is often described as a ‘tale of two cities’. Norwich has a population of 132,500 and is one of the UK's fastest-growing urban areas - a dynamic, contemporary city that has retained its impressive medieval heritage. A major regional service centre with a diverse business base and thriving knowledge economy, Norwich has a strong record of attracting private and public investment. Its prestigious university and teaching hospital, world-class research park, international airport, skilled workforce and one of the highest graduate retention rates in the country add to the many opportunities for all types of business to develop and thrive. For many, it offers an exceptional quality of life, combining the best of city living with easy access to the Norfolk countryside, coast and the Broads. In contrast to this, Norwich City is the second most deprived local authority area in the East of England with multiple deprivation factors. It is the 70th most deprived district in England with 23 LSOAs in the most deprived quintile in England. In 2011 the median resident earnings for full-time workers in Norwich were 17.5% lower than regional median earnings and 12 % lower than national median earnings. In July 2012, around 9.7 per cent (308) of 16 to 18 year olds in Norwich were recorded as not in education, employment or training (NEET) compared to the national figure of 5.9 per cent. Recent child poverty figures for the Eastern Region show Norwich as the worst local authority area in Norfolk in terms of the levels of child poverty at 30%. Again there is a wide variation in the relative value of child poverty across wards ranging from 40% to 8%. A total of 61 per cent of tenants living in the city council’s 15,744 properties are in receipt of housing benefit with more than 30 per cent of private sector tenants in receipt of housing benefit.


Health and Wellbeing in Norwich

  • These levels of deprivation link to the wider social determinants of health and are associated with marked health inequalities in Norwich. Men living in the most deprived areas on average will live ten years less than men living in the  least deprived areas of Norwich.
  • Latest public health data shows that Norwich fairs significantly worse than England and the rest of Norfolk in relation to the following health and wellbeing profile indicators: deprivation, proportion of children in poverty, GCSEs achieved, violent crime, long-term unemployment, physically-active children and adults, teenage pregnancy, hospital stays for self harm, drug misuse, and early deaths as a result of cancer. 

Key Achievements

  • Public Health directorate of NHS Norfolk and Waveney working in partnership with NHS Norwich CCG produced a Health and Wellbeing profile for the newly formed Clinical Commissioning Group to bring an understanding of the Health and Wellbeing needs of the population.
  • Norwich CCG has developed a series of pilot projects to start to address the population health issues revealed in the Health and Wellbeing Profile
    • Community-based weight management services
    • Community matron service, providing care to frail elderly patients at risk of becoming acutely unwell
    • Enhanced smoking cessation services within GP surgeries
    • Norwich multi-agency alcohol strategy
  • During 2011-12, 171 new affordable homes were built and the council spent £9,742,000 on a capital works programme, which included installation of insulation, replacement of windows or other major repairs to 4,000 council homes.
  • There are some excellent examples of collaborative delivery of programmes and projects that deal with the health and well being of people in the city:
    • and the resulting ADHD research commissioned.
    • Norwich’s “Ageing Well” workshops.


Norwich’s Healthy City Story

Norwich City Council, in its civic leadership role, applied to become part of the Healthy City network in July 2012. The application was developed in conjunction with the newly-formed Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and public health colleagues. Health and well being issues are regularly addressed as part of a wider partnership agenda through the Norwich Locality Board and the board promotes a collaborative response to improving the health and well being of people in Norwich.

Future Plans and Activities

We are currently developing a single five-year health and well being strategy for the city, led by NHS Norwich CCG, and with the involvement of Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council (public health, social care, and housing support), Norfolk Constabulary, Norwich schools, and NHS provider organisations. The strategy is currently out for public consultation, and will be published in December 2012.

Councillor comment

Leader of Norwich City Council, Cllr Brenda Arthur said: “The council believes everyone should have a fair chance in life. Many different organisations have an impact on health through their policies and practice. It is essential that organisations work together to initiate change. Investing in the health of Norwich means investing in the future, and requires strong political will and a commitment to improve the health and well being of the people living in Norwich through the close collaboration of partners.”

Other comment

Dr Chris Francis, Co-Chair of Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are delighted that Norwich has been granted Healthy City status. Improving the general health and wellbeing of our patient population is at the heart of what we are doing and what we want to achieve.”

The Director of Public Health for Norfolk and Waveney, Dr Jenny Harries, said: “I am delighted that Norwich has become the latest member of the UK Healthy Cities network supported by the World Health Organisation. This highlights our commitment and that of our partner organisations to work jointly towards improving the health and wellbeing of all people living in Norwich. Norwich has some significant challenges and the sharing of intelligence from other Healthy Cities would drive innovation to reduce health inequalities in Norwich.”


The UK Healthy Cities Network is an accredited member of the WHO European Healthy Cities Programme

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