Independent report

Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2021: health in coastal communities

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty’s second annual report presents an analysis of the health and wellbeing of England’s coastal communities.

Applies to England


Summary and recommendations


Professor Chris Whitty highlights the health disparities in coastal communities compared to their inland neighbours, exploring the drivers of poorer health outcomes and the key challenges these regions face.

After discussing the key themes that run throughout the report and laying out recommendations for government and policy makers, the report is divided into 6 chapters:

  1. Case studies from 10 directors of public health in coastal regions explore the challenges and strengths of their communities.

  2. An analysis by the Office for National Statistics to explore the wider determinants of health in coastal regions, including a section on the impact of poor housing.

  3. Analysis by Plymouth University exploring the burden of disease in coastal communities.

  4. Health Education England’s analysis of the coastal medical workforce and its programme of reform.

  5. A summary of flooding in coastal regions by Public Health England.

  6. A discussion of the benefits of coastal living by Exeter University.

A shorter version of the report including the summary of key themes and recommendations is published alongside the full report.

Professor Chris Whitty’s report is independent of government and is primarily aimed at government, policy makers and healthcare and public health professionals.

Published 21 July 2021
Last updated 22 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Replaced the 2 PDF files ('Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2021: health in coastal communities' and 'Summary and recommendations') with accessible versions.

  2. First published.