Your health and the economic recession

Logo: West Midlands Public Health ObservatoryIt is not a surprise that the current crisis has hit our wallets, but have you thought about the implications that this may have on your health?

Every day the media delivers rather pessimistic news around unemployment going up, more companies going bust, redundancies and future job losses.

The contraction of our disposable income combined with the gloomy picture we perceive generates fear, stress and concerns that can result in a diverse range of health issues ranging from obesity to mental and cardiovascular diseases.

In order to avoid considerable harm to the health across the region, the West Midlands Public Health Observatory (WMPHO) brought together local and health authorities from all over the region to discuss how to face this major issue.

Continue reading

Feeling SNUG?

upward-trend-3d-chart-web-res_v10_image_gw2Do you regularly use statistics and data for analysis at sub-national level? Do you have trouble finding or accessing the right information? Does the data you need exist at the geography you need it?

The Statistics User Forum, Association of Regional Observatories (ARO) and Office for National Statistics are exploring the interest in setting up a Sub-National data User Group (SNUG) to represent users of data at regional, sub-regional and local level. The group would be a place to share issues, put questions to data providers, and have a say on what works and what needs improving.

The Association of Regional Observatories are looking for volunteers to attend a brief meeting, to look at the issues that the group might address, and to shape a programme of meetings (perhaps 2 or 3 a year) which would be open to all.

So, if you have valuable experience you’d like to share, which could help highlight the issues and improve matters, they would like to hear from you.

Continue reading

Can’t I just use Google?

When promoting the regional resource catalogue to colleagues around the region, we tend to find that most tell us they’re using a search engine like Google, Live or Yahoo! to try to source data and information.

However, they also tell us that these Internet search engines do not always locate the information that they need or they present a lot of irrelevant material that the user has to trawl through before locating the desired information.

The regional resource catalogue, available here on wmro.org, was set up specifically to provide easy access to data and information that is directly relevant to the West Midlands region. We aim to link our users through the catalogue with the data and information about the West Midlands and its sub-​regions that they need to inform their work and inform decision-​making across the Heart of England.

We currently provide access to more than 2,500 reports, datasets, websites, strategies and other useful resources, and the content is constantly being reviewed, updated and added to. Continue reading