Latest stats reveal Lincoln’s unhealthy shame

Lincoln is “significantly worse than average” in England for 13 out of 30 health indicators, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Health.

The city’s worst performance is for “hospital stays for self harm”, at 455.1 people per 100,000. The average for England is 198.3.

Teen pregnancy rates are also high for the area, at a 6.36% rate of 15-17-year-old girls — 2.34% higher than the England average.

More than 1.6% of Lincoln’s population are hard drug abusers, compared with a 0.94% national average.

Violent crime, measured by recorded incidents against a person, averages at 2.26% of the population having been victims, against the England rate of 1.58%.

Long-term unemployment rate is 1% for Lincoln, against a national average of 0.62%.

Other indicators where Lincoln is “significantly worse than average” are deprivation, child poverty, hospital stays for alcohol related harm, male and female life expectancy, smoking related deaths, and early deaths for heart disease and strokes, and cancer.

Lincoln outperforms the England average in just three of the 30 indicators–physically active children, people diagnosed with diabetes, and new cases of tuberculosis.

‘Aware of the issues’

Jeanne Bain, Chief Executive of Lincoln Community Development Project (LCDP), said: “In relation to long term unemployment, we are addressing this issue with our Step in the Right Direction training programme, that works with long term unemployed supporting them to identify barriers to gaining employment, building their skills and confidence, so they become more job ready.

“We are also very aware of issues relating to mental health in the city, which cuts across all of the indicators and we are developing Wellness Planning training which individuals can use to keep themselves mentally well.

“LCDP will continue to use Community Development to address these very worrying health inequalities.”

Karl McCartney, Lincoln’s Conservative MP, said: “It is the responsibility of government to ensure that quality healthcare is provided and, where necessary, guidance and advice to people, and these figures will help us to understand where improvements can and should be made.

“However, many of these indicators involve a degree of personal choice and I also think government has to respect people’s freedom to choose their own lifestyle.”