PEOPLE living in Uttoxeter are at an increased risk of developing heart disease, figures have shown.
A new online map has revealed that the region was among the UK’s heart disease hotspots, while also showing there was an above-average chance of developing kidney disease.
The health atlas, created by experts at Imperial College London, ranked people across the country in terms of the likelihood of developing 14 diseases.
For most of the ailments, which included lung cancer and skin cancer, people in the region were deemed to be at a below-average risk, but for heart and kidney disease it was the opposite.
According to the figures, Uttoxeter Town was one of the main places of concern in Staffordshire, with the Crown ward covering Marchington following closely behind with an above-average risk.
Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, as well as environmental issues like air pollution, were attributed as being the main reasons for parts of the country that performed worst.
Experts say the key to avoiding the illness was eating a healthy and balanced diet and keeping physically active.
The news comes soon after a vital service supporting Uttoxeter people with heart problems in their own home was cut.
East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) revealed the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme will no longer be provided by the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust after they did not accept the new contract.
The service is now provided by Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust meaning residents have to travel to Burton for support as the new programme will not provide the home visits.
Councillor Hugh Montgomery, who is currently recovering from a triple heart bypass, said: “It is an absolute disaster that the home visits are no longer provided.
“The fact that we had a cardiac rehabilitation centre here in Balance Street and that is not longer operational as well.
“I have to do cardiac rehab twice a week and I go to Burton for that.
“If you are in the early stages where you cannot drive then someone has to take you in as you can’t get the bus.
“It is absolutely dreadful and appalling. It will hinder people’s recovery.
“We are trying our best to see if there are any other possibilities but we don’t know at the moment.
“My wife has to drive me to Burton as I cannot drive yet and this can have a profound effect on cardiac rehabilitation.”
Mr Bruce told the meeting the service helped around 25 people in and around Uttoxeter each year and the CCG was still committed to providing the service – just from a Burton base.
He added five patients were using the service before it ended on Monday and they have been offered to continue with Burton, visit a town gym or complete the exercises on their own.
Stuart Poynor, chief executive of Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust, said: “Our focus is to support people to stay well, remain independent and provide the best care and services possible.”