Health gap and deprivation increase in Lincolnshire

The gap between the least and most healthy people is increasing year on year in the county, shows the 2011 Public Health Annual Report from NHS Lincolnshire.

This is a challenge that is mirrored across the country, but in Lincolnshire the average health of the population is getting better, the report says.

The key areas of progress include higher take up rates for cancer screening programmes in more vulnerable groups of people.

Increasing population, but also deprivation

Key points from the report found the population of Lincolnshire is currently estimated to be 697,900, and projected to rise to 838,200 by 2033.

Estimates of people from non-white British backgrounds living in Lincolnshire show that the numbers have doubled from 3% in 2001 to 6% in 2007.

Districts with the highest number of people who are from non-white British backgrounds are Boston, Lincoln and South Kesteven.

Around 12% of Lincolnshire’s population now live within the 20% most deprived areas of England, compared with 11% in 2007. This figure is 29.8% for Lincoln, 22% for East Lindsey and 16.7% for Boston.

The most deprived Lower Level Super Output Area (LLSOA) in Lincolnshire is in Lincoln. This is now the 132nd most deprived in England, out of 32,482 LLSOAs.

By 2033, all age groups are projected to grow, with the largest increase in the group aged 75 and over. This age group is projected to more than double in size (109%) between 2008 and 2033.

Tackling the problem

Dr Tony Hill, Director of Public Health for NHS Lincolnshire explained: “The report provides a snapshot of where we are in Lincolnshire in terms of key health and well-being priorities.

“One of our biggest challenges continues to be the growing gap between the healthiest and least healthy people in the county.

“We’re working to address this by targeting preventative services, such as encouraging uptake for screening programmes to the most vulnerable communities.

“To support this we are aiming to improve the quality of local data and put into place a more focused set approach to planning health services.”