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Portsmouth City Council

Portsmouth | The Public Health Team | Public Health Registrars | Portsmouth - The People | Portsmouth - Our Health


Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2BG, 023 9282 2251.


Portsmouth is a vibrant waterfront city.  Portsmouth is a highly urbanised city with 51.5 people per hectare making it the most densely populated local authority outside London. Seventy nine percent of people live on Portsea Island. Portsmouth has all the issues of an inner city including severe deprivation and associated health problems.

Portsmouth is well-connected with motorways, A-roads and mainline rail connections to/from the City. We have domestic and international ferry routes and a major passenger and freight port. Portsmouth is also home to Portsmouth Historic Dockyards and naval base.

The Public Health Team

The Public Health Team in Portsmouth is led by our Director of Public Health Dr Paul Andrew Mortimore. We are a vibrant team committed to working in partnership to improve and protect the health of the population. The Director of Public Health is jointly appointed by NHS Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council and based at the City Council offices.

The Director of Public Health is supported by three Consultants in Public Health, a public health information team which is integrated with the City Council and a team of public health practitioners, development managers and support staff who lead on local health priorities such as, sexual health, obesity, smoking, quality, screening, health protection, emergency planning and immunisations and vaccinations. We are also the lead commissioners for children and families and maternity services. Throughout all our work we balance the three areas of public health: health protection, health services and health improvement.

The Director of Public Health and his team are also focusing on supporting the establishment of the new Health & Wellbeing Boards and working on the Joint Strategic Needs assessment and the Health & Well-being Strategy. This is particularly pertinent in a City like Portsmouth where there are marked health inequalities and significant deprivation. We are also engaging with and supporting the emerging local Clinical Commissioning Groups and ensuring there is an appropriate Health Protection capability in place.

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Public Health Registrars

In Portsmouth we are committed to the development of our staff in general and to the growth of public health specialists and practitioners.  We have a number of staff undertaking defined specialist training and practitioner development.  In addition to this we have F2 doctors on a quarterly rotation undertaking a combined Public Health / General Practitioner placement. GP trainees, sexual health medical specialists and work placement students are also frequently working within our department.

Public Health registrars in Portsmouth are an integral part of the public health directorate and the wider organisation. Registrars have led on a variety of projects which have been key to improving the health of the population and the organisations core business.  Recent examples of such projects are as follows:

  • Reducing paediatric emergency admissions.
  • Writing a business case for, and setting up a Hepatitis C service.
  • Audit of instrumental deliveries in maternity services.
  • Leading on the seasonal flu campaign.
  • A prison health needs assessment.
  • Evidence reviews for prioritisation of clinical services and individual funding requests.
  • Review and update of individual funding requests policy and process.


Feedback from past registrars has highlighted the broad experience they have gained whilst at Portsmouth enabling them to learn new skills, enhance existing skills, achieve their competencies and pass their exams, within an exciting, friendly, supportive and interesting environment.

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Portsmouth – the People

The Office for National Statistics estimates that 203,900 people are resident in Portsmouth. NHS Portsmouth has responsibilities for commissioning services for the 213,031 people who are registered with Portsmouth City GP Practices. The difference in population numbers arises because Portsmouth City GP Practices can register patients who live outside the Portsmouth City Council boundary.

There were 2629 births to Portsmouth women during 2009/10. Twenty percent of the total resident population are aged 0-17 years inclusive.

Twelve percent of our population are aged 20-24 years, compared to 7% nationally, with 22,800 students at University of Portsmouth. Sixty seven percent of Portsmouth’s population is of working age compared to 62% nationally and 61% in the South East.

Between 2011 and 2026 the population aged 65+ years will increase by 28% and those aged 75+ years by 35%. In contrast, the working age population (16–64 years) will decline by 1%, and under 15s will increase by 5%

Nearly 14% of Portsmouth residents are from a black or minority ethnic community. Some age groups in certain areas are more ethnically diverse: 14% of pupils aged 5+ years are from a BME community and this increases to 36% of pupils from St Thomas, 27% from St Jude and 25% from Charles Dickens wards.

Further information about Portsmouth can be found in our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.

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Portsmouth – our Health

Portsmouth is ranked highest of 14 local authorities for its average deprivation score and concentration of deprivation, within Hampshire and the Isle of Wight,

The four most deprived wards in Portsmouth (Charles Dickens, Paulsgrove, Nelson and St Thomas) are also amongst the most deprived fifth in England.  We do not know what the medium and long term impact of the recession will be. Already, the impact can be seen in the 11% increase in unemployment claimants between March 2009 and March 2010.

Male life expectancy (77.5 years) is improving but remains significantly worse than the England rate. At ward level, there is a 7.7 year gap in life expectancy for males living in the least deprived ward quintile compared to the most deprived ward quintile.

Female life expectancy (82.3 years) is now not significantly different from the England average. At ward level, there is a 4.4 year gap in life expectancy for females living in the least deprived ward quintile compared to the most deprived ward quintile. 

In 2007/09, Portsmouth’s all age all cause mortality rate for males was 723 per 100,000 males of all ages and for women was 484 per 100,000 females of all ages. The male rate was statistically significantly higher than the England and regional rates.

In 2008/10, ischaemic heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for Portsmouth residents (658 deaths, 14% of all deaths). Cerebrovascular disease continues to be the second highest cause (475 deaths, 10% of deaths).

For men; Ischaemic heart disease is the leading cause of death (389 deaths, 16% of all male deaths), the second highest cause is cancer of the trachea, bronchus or lung (204 deaths, 9% of all male deaths). Prostate cancer was the main cause of 89 deaths (4% of all male deaths).

For women; Cerebrovascular disease is the most frequent cause of death (290 deaths, 12% of all female deaths). [In 2007/09 ischaemic heart disease had been the most frequent cause of death (328 deaths, 13% of all female deaths)]. The second most frequent cause is ischaemic heart disease (269 deaths, 11% of all female deaths). Breast cancer was the main cause of 116 deaths, (4% of female deaths).

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