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For the next four years we will

  • Continue to deliver the COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan and tackling the longer-term impacts of COVID-19
  • Build a sustainable care system for Devon through the “Lovecare” programme including an economic assessment of the value of social care and health, the case for greater government investment in adult social care, and promoting value and esteem in the workforce through discussions between system leaders and care workers
  • Recognise the importance of carers in Devon and supporting them to manage their caring role and look after their own health and wellbeing enabling young carers to learn and develop alongside their caring role
  • Give people greater opportunities for walking and cycling to increase their physical activity
  • Improve mental health by improving access to mental health and wellbeing services and strengthening support for young people at risk of emotional or mental health problems


Are you in?

We want to hear your thoughts on how we can work together to make Devon the best place to grow up, live well and prosper

Healthier and happier lives for people in Devon

We want everyone in Devon to live longer healthier and happier lives and to be more active.

We are seeing increasing demand for services, with more people living with long term health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, and epilepsy – but we also know that poverty and deprivation is linked to poorer health and wellbeing.

Our overall aim is to increase life expectancy and reduce health inequities between different areas of Devon.

Additionally, we need to respond to insecurities and vulnerabilities that have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Why is this a priority?

Devon has an ageing and growing population with proportionately more older people than England as a whole. The population is set to grow by 88,000 (11%) over the next 20 years, with low growth in under 65s (2%), with considerable growth in the older population (94% increase in people aged 85 and over).

More adults have complex health needs and are living with them longer.

Devon’s young people have generally good health, but hospital admissions in children and young people are considerably higher for mental health conditions, self-harm and injuries. This gap is even wider for vulnerable groups such as disadvantaged and looked after children.

Life expectancy has remained marginally similar over the last decade with people living their remaining 10 to 15 years of life in poorer health. This gap is starker across areas with higher deprivation as well as minority groups and different communities.

Recruiting and retaining a sufficient workforce is increasingly difficult across the country, seriously impacting on the availability of services and the effectiveness of our health and care system.

Resolving these workforce challenges is key to the Council’s ambition, including our digital future, skills, sustainable travel, carbon-reduction and climate change, family and carer support, community leadership and the wider economy

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected health and wellbeing?

  • Whilst in Devon COVID-19 cases and deaths were some of the lowest in the country, the real health impact of the pandemic will be felt elsewhere in the health system and the impact of long COVID is still emerging and will add more pressure. Periods of recession correlate with higher prevalence of common mental health disorders, particularly anxiety and depression, substance disorders, alcohol misuse, and of suicidal behaviour
  • The effects of increased poverty and deprivation will have a greater impact on the health of people living in our most deprived communities.
  • The pandemic has shown the social care sector to be resilient, resourceful and committed. The commissioned workforce has delivered fabulous care, at great personal risk. Yet, it remains (generally) poorly paid and undervalued. National investment is needed to reward staff fairly for the crucial work they do.
James McInnes

Councillor James McInnes

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Services

“It’s vital that our care and health services give everyone in Devon an equal chance to lead a long, happy and healthy life.

“More people than ever before are carers for loved ones, and for some that can feel quite overwhelming. Many thousands of people across Devon work around the clock to help and care for relatives and friends who couldn’t manage on their own.

“I will make sure that carers, both paid and unpaid, get the help and support that they need.