Artwork shows an illustrated row of different people from the waist up

Living and growing well

Recently Completed Project

The City of York Suicide Audit 2023 is now published. The aim of this audit is to identify public health interventions that may help to reduce deaths by suicide in the future, and to support the families and friends who have been bereaved by suicide. Content warning: This audit document contains information that you may find distressing, including repeated reference to mental ill-health, distress, suicide attempts, mental health stigma, self-harm and self-injury. Please be mindful of your own wellbeing in deciding whether to continue reading this report.

132,000 citizens of York are aged 18 to 64, that is 66% of everyone living in York. The Health and Wellbeing Strategy intends that York’s adults have equal access to things which produce health.

At first glance, York is already a healthy place, and we certainly can celebrate many things about our heritage, voluntary sector, and economy but we still have health needs and some stark inequalities. Overall, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) Health Index puts York in the middle of the pack, with a combined health ranking of 105 compared to the England average of 100. (At the top Harrogate scores 125, and at the bottom Blackpool scored 77).

For more information, graphics and charts from the ONS on the health of York.

Vale of York: It is easier to collect some health data for the ‘Vale of York’ area. This is an area that includes all of the City of York, but also some other areas. This is because of how GP practices are organised within the NHS. If we have used Vale of York (VoY) area data, we will show this with ‘(VoY)’ at the end of the section.

A | C | D | E | H | I | L | M | O | P | S



Drinking too much alcohol over a long period of time increases the chances of a person getting conditions like cancers and heart disease. In 2021 and 2022, there were 1,599 admissions to hospital in York for alcohol-related cardiovascular disease. Taking into account the size and age of the York population, this is more than would be expected for the England average (York Rate 797/100,000. England Rate 759/100,000). The York rates of admission for alcohol-related cardiovascular disease are particularly high for men.

The admissions for alcohol related liver disease in York are also higher than the England average. In 2021 and 2022 there were 367 admissions to hospital for alcohol related liver disease. (York Rate: 194/100,000. England Rate 154/100,000.) York's admissions for alcohol related liver disease are particularly high for women.

The York hospital admissions for alcohol related accidental injury, intention positioning, alcohol related cancer, and alcohol related mental health are all similar to the England averages.

Admissions for alcohol related conditions in York follow the same age and sex pattern as the England averages. Admissions rise significantly with age, as most alcohol related conditions take many years to develop. Men are more likely to be in hospital for alcohol related conditions than women.

Access to a GP

For the ICS as a whole data is published on people’s experiences of using a GP. Our ICS covers a large area including York but also North Yorkshire, across the Humber, and into Northern Lincolnshire. For example, over the whole ICS 74% of people said their experience of using a GP was ‘good’ or better, but only half said they could speak to someone on the phone.

Additionally, 87% said they were treated ‘with care and concern’; but patients with a disability, a mental health condition, or who were living in deprived areas are less likely to say they were treated ‘with care and concern. (Data: All 87%, disability 83%, mental health 79%, deprived 82%).



Cancer diagnosis

800 people were diagnosed with a cancer in York in 2020. Early cancer diagnosis often means better survival rates. In 2020 just less than half (49%) were diagnosed at stages 1 and 2. In England it is 52%, the NHS wants this to be 75% by 2028.

Cancer screening

Breast Screening: 75% of women aged 53 to 70 are up-to-date with their breast screening in 2022 and 2023. This is better than the England average of 67%. (VoY)

Cervical Screening (universal): 70% of women aged 25 to 49 years were up-to-date with their cervical screening in 2022 and 2023. This is better than the England average of 67%. (VoY)

Cervical Screening (targeted): Women who have had a cervical screening test positive for the HP virus are invited for continued cervical screening into after the age of 50. 77% of this group of women were up-to-date with their cervical screening in 2022 and 2023. This is better than the England average of 75%. (VoY)

Bowel Screening: 78% of people aged 60 to 74 years were up-to-date with their bowel screening in 2022 and 2023. This is better than the England average of 72%. (VoY)



Dental information is measured differently to other health data because of the way dentistry is commissioned by NHS England, and because many people see private dentists.

Across the Integrated Care Board (ICB) (an area which covers York, North Yorkshire, East Riding, Hull, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire) 40% of all adults had seen an NHS dentist in the last two years. Others will have seen a non-NHS dentist, so this doesn’t give the full picture.

In 2022 York Healthwatch published a report which explores gaps in provision for NHS dentists in York. One of the findings was that 62% of people in York had seen their dentist in the last two years. The sample used for this study is small and may not be a true picture of York as a whole.


It is thought that 9% of adults in the UK have diabetes. Some of these people will have a diagnosis, and some will not. If someone does not know they have diabetes, they can not access the treatments to control their blood sugar levels, this increases the risk of secondary harms, for example nerve damage and sight loss.

In the Vale of York, 5.6% of people have a diabetes diagnosis, but the estimated true prevalence is 7.4%. Therefore, it is thought that nearly 5,000 people across the Vale of York that have diabetes but do not know this.



Of all working age adults in York, 116,000 people (83%) are either employed or self employed. 2,500 people are estimated to be unemployed and looking for work. York has a much higher employment rate than the England average (76%).

Of people who are in work, 67% work full time (more than 30 hours), and 33% work part time. Part time working is more common in women than men.


By law, everyone under 16 should be in full time education. In York 11% of people over 16 are also in full time education. York is a highly educated city. 49% of people aged 16+ have a degree level qualification. However, 18% of adults have no formal qualifications at all.


High blood pressure

In total 14% of all people registered with a GP in VoY have a diagnosed high blood pressure. This is the same as the England average. In VoY 16% of people aged 45+ had not had their blood pressure checked in a GP practice in the last 5 years. This is important because national studies say that up to 3 in 10 cases of high blood pressure in the UK are undiagnosed. Untreated high blood pressure puts a person at bigger risk of things like heart disease or a stroke. High blood pressure can be caused by things like being overweight, inactivity, smoking, or stress.


Of all households, 66% own their own home (either with or without a mortgage), 14% live in socially rented homes, and 18% live in privately rented homes.

32% of households are a single person living alone, 29% are households comprised of a couple with no children, 38% are households with children, 2% of households in York are full time student households.

Health checks

NHS health checks are intended to support the prevention and early identification of chronic health conditions by looking at things like weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. After the age of 40, adults should be invited for this preventative health appointment once every five years, therefore, 20% of the group should be invited each year. In York, 4% of people were had a health check in 2022/2023, this is significantly less than the England average invite rate which is 7%.



The national ASHE survey takes a sample of 1% of all jobs using HMRC data. It does not include self-employed people. For York, the median annual pay before tax (gross) for a full-time employee is £32,300. The England average for the same is £35,100.



There are 83,500 households in York. 94% of households speak English as their main language. 3% of households have at least one person who speaks English as their main language, and 3% of households have no one who speaks English as their main language.

Learning disability

Within York, 1,500 people are registered as having a learning disability on their GP practice notes. This is 0.4% of all people. We know that some people with a learning disability do not have this information on their GP practice notes. This means that they're missing out on things like a learning disability health check. National estimates suggest that 2% of people in the UK have a disability.


Mental health

Across the Vale of York area 12% of adults have a mental health diagnosis of Depression or Anxiety conditions, and 0.8% of people have a gnosis of a serious mental illness (including bipolar conditions.

Approximately 500 people access NHS talking therapies in the Vale of York every month for their mental health need. Of this group, 54% had attended two re more appointments and were moving towards recovery. Everyone received their first treatment appointment within six weeks of the referral, but a third went on to have at least a 12 week wait for their second appointment.



Overweight and obesity increases the chances that a person will become ill with things like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. On average, people with overweight and obesity die at a younger age and live more years in poor health. 60% of adults in York are overweight or obese (data from 2022). 19% of women are obese at their first midwifery appointment for a pregnancy, this increases the chances of gestational diabetes and a child who is overweight.


Physical activity

In total, 75% of York adults are physically active. This means adults who are doing at least two and half hours of activity a week.



The national Annual Population Survey asks people about their smoking status, and is considered the best source of this information. In York, 9% of adults smoke, this is less than the England average 13%. The GP patient survey for Vale of York has similar results, saying that the current smoking rate is 10%.

Looking specifically ad adults who are employed in ‘routine and manual jobs, the rate of smoking is high 15% of adults in York. The England average for this group is 23%.

Women are asked if they smoke when they first see a midwife for a pregnancy. In York 11% of women said they smoked in early pregnancy. The England average is 13%.

Of all adults who smoke in the Vale of York, 94% had been offered support to stop smoking at least once in the last two years. This may have been by text or in an appointment. The England average for this is 92%.