Ilfracombe has again emerged as the area with the lowest life expectancy in Devon. The Annual Public Health Report for 2015-16 by Dr Virginia Pearson and Dr Mark Kealy is produced on behalf of Devon County Council. It has similar findings to last year for Ilfracombe, with the central ward life expectancy at 74.9 years, a slight increase on 2014-15. Overall North Devon has the lowest rate at 81.7 years but the electoral ward with the longest span is Orchard Hill in Bideford at 88.8. Director of public health, Dr Pearson, said: We need to address health inequality and continue to reduce the gap between the health of the best off and the worst-off in Devon. There is an ever growing emphasis on people taking greater responsibility for their own health. This plays a large part of what is necessary to prevent deterioration in health and decline in independence in the later years of life. A balance needs to be struck between early intervention for long-term conditions and not over-diagnosing or over-treating peoples health conditions which is why the regular surveillance of health outcomes and disease trends is so important. The report will be presented to the DCC cabinet tomorrow (Wednesday).Click here to return to our homepage for more North Devon news.