KEEPING people healthy is key to improving life-expectancy in Bolton, according to a new document which sets out the town’s health priorities until 2015.

Giving children a healthy start to life are central to the draft Health and Wellbeing Strategy for the borough.

The document, which is in a consultation process, aims to improve overall health in Bolton by increasing early intervention when people are young.

It states there is a “clear economic case for prevention”, which will “reduce the overall burden of disease”.

Major challenges for healthcare in Bolton come from an ageing population, the burden of chronic diseases, inequalities and the rising costs of treatment and care.

The strategy has four goals: ● Increasing the percentage of the adult population experiencing good to excellent health; ● Narrowing the gap in lifeexpectancy compared to England; ● Increasing the number of adults experiencing high levels of wellbeing; ● And increasing education.

Life-expectancy in Bolton is lower than the rest of England — by 2.3 years for men and 1.92 years for women.

The strategy wants to reduce this to 1.92 years for men and 1.77 years for women.

It also wants to increase the number of adults experiencing good or excellent health to 79 per cent from 72 per cent by 2015.

Lesley Jones, deputy director of public health, presented the draft strategy to Bolton’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as part of the consultation process.

She said: “The ambition is for everyone in the Bolton family to enjoy a long and happy life. We are aiming for prevention.”

The strategy was generally well received by the CCG board, with some concerns raised about whether the goals were ambitious enough.

But Board member Dr Stephen Liversedge said: “These are really tough, in fact I would say we won’t hit them.”

A consultation event to discuss the document is taking place on Monday, October 15, in the Lancaster Suite, Bolton Town Hall, between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

To book a place, contact Farzana on 01204 546050 or The public consultation will be open until October 31. For details, visit the website