Health and Wellbeing in East Salford
Health in Salford is improving and people are living longer than ever before. The rate of improvement has been however been slower than that for England as a whole, which means the health of people in Salford is generally poorer than the average for England. People die younger from often preventable illness and have more illness than the average for England. The causes of poorer health in Salford are complex and are affected by a wide number of socio-economic factors such as employment, poverty, education, housing, environment, community safety and transport as well as lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol, drugs, diet and exercise.
The picture for health in East Salford is not only worse than that for England but it is also generally worse than the average for Salford. People who live in this neighbourhood die at an earlier age and experience more health problems which impact on their lives.
Organisations and communities are working towards improving the health and wellbeing of residents in East Salford, and in particular to reduce the differences or inequalities in health. The summary below highlights some of the actions that could be taken to improve health and wellbeing for all.
Health issues in East Salford
It is important that children get the best start in life. Breastfeeding reduces the risk to babies of tummy upsets, ear infections and obesity. It also reduces the risk of a child dying under the age of one. The levels of breastfeeding in this neighbourhood are lower than the average for England. One way to improve breastfeeding is to ensure organisations, such as hospitals, cafes and businesses, follow the steps of a simple programme to ensure they are welcoming to breastfeeding mothers and babies.
A high uptake of immunisation protects children and adults from serious infectious diseases, illness and death. Levels of immunisation in this neighbourhood are higher than the average for England and it is important to maintain or increase these levels. Promotion of immunisations via community champions, local organisations, schools, youth centres and employers will help further improve uptake.
Oral health is an essential aspect of a child's health. Dental decay is largely preventable yet causes pain, infection and at times the need for extractions with the use of anaesthetic. It affects self-confidence and restricts what children and adults can eat. It is estimated that on average there is there is between double and treble the levels of dental decay children in East Salford than the England average. Local organisations, community groups and parents need to continue to increase the proportion of sugar-free snacks and drinks consumed by children and encourage children to regularly brush their teeth with appropriate fluoride toothpaste.
Being overweight or obese is becoming common in East Salford. There are more overweight and obese adults living in this area than there are adults who are of a healthy weight. To improve this, the promotion of healthy eating and physical activity in local settings such as workplaces is essential. Transport planners can continue to help improve physical activity by making it easier to walk and cycle on all routes to schools and parks.
Teenage pregnancy results in a higher risk of health problems for babies and mothers, as well as a higher risk of poverty. Teenage conceptions and abortions in Broughton and Irwell Riverside have higher rates than the Salford, North West and England averages, with Kersal having rates lower than Salford but higher than North West and England averages.
To reduce teenage pregnancy the focus should be on improving access to contraception, increasing educational achievements and also increasing life aspirations for young women.
Tobacco smoking is still the leading cause of ill health and premature death in Salford. Estimates of the number of adults who smoke in East Salford range from 49% in Irwell Riverside (nearly one in two; between 19% and 27% in Kersal and 41% in Broughton. This compares to an England average of 21% (just over one in five). Staff across organisations should be trained to help local people to link with services to help them to quit smoking. Illegal and cheaper tobacco can be a factor in increased rates of smoking particularly among young people. This needs to be addressed alongside crime prevention.
Misuse of alcohol affects physical, mental and social health and well-being. Salford ranks amongst the highest of English local authority areas for the levels of hospital admissions related to alcohol. In this neighbourhood, levels of alcohol related hospital admissions are highest in Broughton and Irwell Riverside. The neighbourhood has lower than average alcohol problems in some areas due to cultural preferences of some local residents not to drink alcohol. The reasons for alcohol misuse can be complex. Sometimes people drink because they are lonely, depressed or isolated or bored. It is important that community networks are promoted and that there are local opportunities for young people, adults or families that offer alternatives to drinking e.g. sports and social activities.
Salford has more than double the proportion of drug-related offenders than England and Wales. The monthly drug use of young people who are not in education is about 14 times greater than those that are. Broughton, the most deprived ward in Salford, has the second highest rate of heroin and crack cocaine users in the city whereas rates in Irwell Riverside are just above the city average and in Kersal are below the city average. Outreach work with high risk groups of drug users that have dropped out of treatment or that have never been in treatment should be a priority across the city. Work with young people must focus upon services working together on both prevention and early intervention.
Salford has 4th highest rate for sexually transmitted infections in the North West and the number of cases of HIV and AIDS in Salford have risen by 70% since 2005. HIV testing should be promoted and offered in a range of settings targeting a range of people. For example, it should be offered when registering with general practice or when attending A&E or services for antenatal care, termination of pregnancy, drug dependency, tuberculosis, and hepatitis.
Local population statistics predict that 13,262 people in Salford between the ages 18 to 64 have a moderate or serious physical disability and that this will rise to 14,378 by 2025. In 2010, 7.6% of the population of this neighbourhood claimed disability allowance. This percentage is the third lowest in Salford and compares to 5% for the population of England. Action is required to jointly plan and develop services to improve housing and homecare services to meet disabled peoples' needs and prevent inappropriate placements.
Salford has some of the highest levels of mental ill health in the country. Levels of debt and fear of redundancy as a result of the current recession may result in an increase in levels of mental ill-health such as anxiety and depression. Like all neighbourhoods in Salford, East Salford has seen a sharp increase in the use of mental health outpatient services in 2010/2011. Transport, housing and employment all contribute to mental well being so preventing mental health problems requires organisations to work together to tackle these issues.
Long-term conditions have a serious impact on people's lives - they can shorten a person's life and they can also affect the quality of life. Most are preventable through lifestyle changes. The proportion of people who have a limiting long-term illness in this neighbourhood is above the England average and two areas are higher than the Salford average. Action should focus on prevention and the broader environmental factors that affect healthy lifestyles. For example many organisations have a part to play to increase opportunities in Salford for people to be more physically active and to promote eating a healthy diet.
One in four of all deaths in Salford are from cancer. The number of new cases of cancer in Salford is the second highest in the country and the rate in Salford is increasing faster than it is nationally. To improve cancer survival we need to increase uptake of the cancer screening programmes and ensure people know the symptoms of cancer and access their GP early.
There are estimated to be 2373 people living in Salford with dementia, many of whom are undiagnosed. Dementia is most common in older people and as the elderly population is predicted to rise over time in Salford so will the numbers of those living with dementia. Action is needed to develop residential options to enable people with dementia who wish to live independently to continue to do so for as long as possible.
Thirteen percent of adults in Salford are carers (providing unpaid care) which is in line with the England average. It is important that carers are supported appropriately through the development of a wide range of services, delivered in partnership. On a city wide level, this needs to include increasing the numbers of carers assessments and heath checks, ensuring that carers have access to timely respite and breaks and are supported into employment or training. Specifically within Salford neighbourhoods this will need to include enhancing the provision of local information and advice for carers and ensuring that the needs of carers are considered in the development of neighbourhood plans.
Life expectancy in East Salford for men and women is generally shorter than for England. In some parts of the neighbourhood women live on average approximately 8 years less than the England average, and men live on average approximately ten years lower than the England average. To reduce this inequality we need to:
- improve health and wellbeing from birth throughout life,
- prevent ill-health such as long-term conditions,
- detect disease early,
- manage ill-health effectively.
There is a strong link between high death rates and worklessness and homelessness. Partnership approaches are important to improve the early years' environment for children, education and opportunities for young people, as well as improve housing and employment opportunities for local people.
This summary gives the main health messages and actions for East Salford (Kersal, Broughton and Irwell Riverside). There are many more actions which can be taken to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in this neighbourhood. These can be found by clicking on the hyperlinks above. Some are actions for the neighbourhood while others require many organisations to work together to make improvements across the city. Working together with local residents is a theme of many of the recommendations.
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