The stark health inequalities in our region have been laid bare, as it emerges that in one Norfolk town men living in the most deprived areas can expect to live for almost a decade less than those living in the most affluent areas.

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STATISTICAL BREAKDOWNS

GREAT YARMOUTH

Deprivation is higher than average and about 4,600 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for women is lower than the England average. Life expectancy is 9.5 years lower for men and 5.3 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Yarmouth than in the least deprived areas.

About 20.7pc of Year 6 children are classified as obese.

Levels of teenage pregnancy, GCSE attainment, breast feeding initiation, smoking and obesity in pregnancy, adult smoking, sexually transmitted infections and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm are worse than the England average.

The rate of road injuries and deaths is better than the England average.

Priorities in Great Yarmouth include the reduction of smoking levels, especially in pregnancy, and reducing obesity, diabetes and alcohol related harm.

NORTH NORFOLK

The health of people in North Norfolk is generally better than the England average.

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 2,500 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Life expectancy is 4 years lower for men in the most deprived areas of North Norfolk than in the least deprived areas.

The level of GCSE attainment is worse than the than the England average.

North Norfolk is better than the England average for levels of teenage pregnancy, alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18, rates of sexually transmitted infections, smoking-related deaths and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm.

The rate of road injuries and deaths is worse than the England average.

Priorities in North Norfolk include stopping smoking, dementia, and reducing diabetes, particularly by promoting healthy lifestyles.

BROADLAND

The health of people in Broadland is generally better than the England average.

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 2,300 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Life expectancy is not significantly different for men and women in the most deprived areas of Broadland compared to the least deprived areas.

Broadland is better than the England average for levels of teenage pregnancy, GCSE attainment, alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18, rates of sexually transmitted infections, smoking-related deaths and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm.

The rate of statutory homelessness is higher than average.

Priorities in Broadland include monitoring and preventing early deaths from cancer, particularly by targeting risk factors, reducing obesity by encouraging healthy lifestyles, monitoring alcohol consumption and controlling availability of alcohol.

KING’S LYNN AND WEST NORFOLK

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 4,900 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Life expectancy is 5.4 years lower for men in the most deprived areas of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk than in the least deprived areas.

The level of GCSE attainment is worse than the England average.

The level of alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18 is better than the England average, as it rates of sexually-transmitted infections and smoking-related deaths.

Rates of road injuries and deaths and hospital stays for alcohol related harm are worse than the

England average.

Priorities in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk include stopping smoking, better understanding and reduction of alcohol consumption among older people, and reducing diabetes, particularly by promoting healthy lifestyles.

SOUTH NORFOLK

The health of people in South Norfolk is generally better than the England average.

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 2,500 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Life expectancy is 3.8 years lower for men in the most deprived areas of South Norfolk than in the least deprived areas.

Levels of obesity in Year 6 children, teenage pregnancy, GCSE attainment, alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18, rates of sexually-transmitted infections, smoking related deaths and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm are better than the England average.

Priorities in South Norfolk include reducing the number of road accidents, monitoring and preventing early deaths from cancer, particularly by targeting risk factors, and lowering excess winter deaths.

BRECKLAND

The health of people in Breckland is generally better than the England average.

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 3,600 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Life expectancy is 3.4 years lower for men and 3.3 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Breckland than in the least deprived areas.

The level of GCSE attainment is worse than the England average.

Breckland is better than the England average for levels of teenage pregnancy, alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18, rates of sexually-transmitted infections, smoking-related deaths and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm.

Priorities in Breckland include stopping smoking, reducing diabetes, particularly by promoting healthy lifestyles, and lowering the number of road accidents.

NORWICH

Deprivation is higher than average and about 6,600 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for men is lower and for women higher than the England average. Life expectancy is 6.7 years lower for men and 3.2 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Norwich than in the least deprived areas.

Levels of teenage pregnancy, GCSE attainment and rates of sexually-transmitted infections are worse than the England average.

The estimated level of adult obesity is better than the England average, as it rates of road injuries and deaths and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm.

Priorities in Norwich include stopping smoking, reducing incidence of suicide and reducing the levels of poor mental health.

WAVENEY

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 4,500 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Life expectancy is 5.9 years lower for men and 5.3 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Waveney than in the least deprived areas.

Levels of teenage pregnancy, GCSE attainment, breast feeding initiation, smoking in pregnancy and adult obesity are worse than the England average and the rate of violent crime is higher than average.

The rate of smoking related deaths is better than the England average and rates of statutory homelessness and drug misuse are lower than average.

Priorities in Waveney include narrowing health inequalities and reducing early deaths (e.g. from cancer), ensuring children get the best start in life and supporting older people to remain independent and active.

MID SUFFOLK

The health of people in Mid Suffolk is generally better than the England average.

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 1,800 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Life expectancy is 3.7 years lower for women in the most deprived areas of Mid Suffolk than in the least deprived areas.

About 15.2pc of Year 6 children are classified as obese, lower than the average for England.

Levels of teenage pregnancy, alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18, rates of sexually-transmitted infections, smoking-related deaths and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm are better than the England average.

Priorities in Mid Suffolk include narrowing health inequalities and reducing early deaths (e.g. from

cancer), ensuring children get the best start in life and supporting older people to remain independent and active.

FOREST HEATH

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 1,300 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Life expectancy is not significantly different for men or women in the most deprived areas of Forest Heath compared to the least deprived areas.

The level of GCSE attainment, as well as the estimated level of adult smoking, is worse than the England average.

Levels of teenage pregnancy, alcohol-specific hospital stays among those under 18, rates of sexually-transmitted infections, smoking-related deaths and adult physical activity are better than the England average.

The rates of long-term unemployment and drug misuse are lower than average.

Priorities in Forest Heath include reducing health inequalities, helping older people to remain independent and giving children a good start in life.

FENLAND

Deprivation is lower than average, however about 3,700 children live in poverty.

Life expectancy for men is lower than the England average. Life expectancy is 6.8 years lower for men in the most deprived areas of Fenland than in the least deprived areas.

The level of GCSE attainment, estimated levels of adult smoking and physical activity, rates of road injuries and deaths and hospital stays for alcohol-related harm are worse than the England average.

Levels of breast feeding initiation, smoking in pregnancy, and the rate of sexually-transmitted infections are better than the England average.

The rate of long-term unemployment is higher than average.

Priorities in Fenland include partnership working to meet the needs of an ageing population, focusing on prevention of long-term conditions and addressing rural issues such as isolation, access to services and integration of migrant workers.

The huge gaps in life expectancy are at their greatest in Great Yarmouth, where the difference in how long a man can expect to live can differ by 9.5 years, depending on where he lives.

Across the whole of Norfolk, the gap in life expectancy is 5.8 years for men and 1.9 years for women, while in Suffolk it is 5.7 and 4.4 years, and in Cambridgeshire, 7.2 and 5.3 years respectively for men and women.

The positive news is that most areas have seen the rate of early deaths from heart disease and stroke fall, while several others have also seen early cancer deaths decrease.

The figures, contained in new health profiles for 2012, will now be used by NHS trusts, councils, police and other organisations to target priorities which will improve health and reduce the inequalities.

In Norfolk, priorities include stopping smoking, particularly in pregnancy, monitoring and preventing early deaths from cancer, and reducing diabetes by promoting health lifestyles.

Suffolk needs to reduce early deaths, ensure children get the best start in life and support older people to remain independent, while Cambridgeshire should focus on partnership working to meet the needs of an ageing population and the long-term prevention of ill-health.

While the figures appear to show that where you live has an effect on your health, experts say that educational attainment is perhaps one of the key factors which shapes a person’s health and life.

Lucy MacLeod, a consultant in public health with NHS Norfolk and Waveney, said: “Education and attainment are key factors as that does have knock-on to health in terms of the kind of jobs that people get. People’s health is very much determined by their housing, their income, their job, even their ability to read food labels.

“All that comes back to education and attainment which is why it’s a key health indicator.”

Another concerning trend is a failure to reduce early deaths from cancer in Norwich, against a backdrop where this is decreasing across the country.

New priorities and initiatives will now start to be designed by the incoming clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which take over the responsibility and purse strings for the majority of our health care from next April.

It is hoped that the new Health and Wellbeing Boards, also being established under the NHS reforms, will enable these groups to set health and wellbeing strategies, which will in turn set the local framework for the commissioning of health care, social care and public health.

Mrs MacLeod said: “We are always monitoring figures as we have our own health intelligence teams looking very closely at trends and keeping an eye on what is changing.

“We will now be feeding back this information to the CCGs and finding out what they think of the trends and how these issues could be addressed.”

5 comments

  • Put another way - we have a lot of fat pregnant women who smoke.

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    Tudor Bushe

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Daisy Root - I commend you on your analysis. The problems with Yarmouth started when the summer casual workers stopped going home for the winter. I may be wrong but I think there was a change in the benefit system which allowed them to stay and claim. Then as you rightly say the area became a dumping ground for people with all manner of problems, including drug misuse and alcohol dependency. Now the numbers have been swollen by immigrants. With little or no work for low skilled workers is it any surprise to anyone that Yarmouth has a multitude of problems with one generation after another just doing what their parents did before them - relying on the state for a living. The councils must really stop encouraging the wrong type of people to the area and instead start encouraging wealth creators. But with a large low skilled work force with zero work ethic there is very little to encourage them to invest on the east coast.

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    BG

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Although the article is not really misleading it does not state the real reasons behind some of the statistics. Some places are sink areas for people from outside the region.North Norfolk attracts the affluent retired who have had healthy lifestyles but Yarmouth has been known to attract those with drug and alcohol problems and those on low income looking for housing in the private rental sector as well as those from abroad whose health care may not have been as good in the past. Education has a lot to do with poor health especially as education and income often go hand in hand, but the problem is not always " home grown" , as we know from articles in the EDP in the past about drug gang busts and also criminal offences committed by the dysfunctional.Statistics showing the birth origins of the residents surveyed might reveal this. A Liverpudlian junkie moving into Yarmouth and then being sick or dying young is not something solved easily, unless Yarmouth and Waveney pull up the draw bridge.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Being a teenage girl in Gt Yarmouth and getting pregnant (which is what 1 in 20 do) is seen as a career move locally. Accommodation all in and a benefits package which equals a net annual income of just over £17k a year. No brainer really for a lot of girls.

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    BG

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • The NHS has to be commended for providing an excellent walk in centre, recognising that GY has a need for easy access to doctors for those who are not registered with a GP because they are on the periphery of the established community.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Monday, July 23, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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