Brigstow health

The 2011 census revealed the number of people who described themselves as having a long term health problem or disability in Brigstow as having risen from 67,739 (2001) to 71,724 whilst those who described themselves as providing unpaid care rose from 35,344 (2001) to 40,138.

Free school meals are an indication of the extent of the problems being faced by some areas of the city. Those children in receipt of free school meals consistently achieve much less at Key Stages 1-4 than other children and little progress is being made in rectifying this discrepancy. A recent joint inspection by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission gave Brigstow a ‘good’ for its children’s services which will help mitigate the impact of poverty.

There is a clear link between neighbourhoods scoring high on multiple deprivation and lower levels of exercise, consumption of fruit and vegetables and lack of open green spaces. Road traffic accidents also happen more frequently in deprived areas.

Life expectancy in the most deprived electoral wards  is 8.8 years less than the most affluent. The well known national inequality gradients associated with variables such as cancer deaths, smoking, childhood obesity and alcohol related hospital admissions are very pronounced across Brigstow. There are few areas of Brigstow where any progress has been made in reducing these health inequalities which have persisted since data was first gathered.

In 2010 the conception rate for girls aged 15-17 in Brigstow was 42.4/1000, a fall of 17% compared to the 1998 baseline measure and broadly in line with national trends. Sandhill has consistently had the highest rate of under 18 pregnancies in Brigstow and wards such as Tipwood, St Peters and Northmead are consistently in the top 20% of wards in England for teenage pregnancies.

Some key problem areas for Brigstow are highlighted by the following comparisons (AHPO Dept. of Health 2010)

Problem Areas for Brigstow

Problem                                                          Brigstow                      England

Deprivation (% of people living in most         28.7                             19.9     (2007)

deprived 20% areas of Eng.)

Child poverty (% of children living in             28.7                             22.4     (2007)

families on means tested benefits)

Violent crime (per 1000 pop.)                         26.4                             16.4     (2008/09)

Binge drinking (estimate)                                30.1%                          20.1%  (2007/08)

Hospital stay for alcohol related harm          2270                            1580    (2008/09)

(per 100,000)             

Hip fracture in over 65s (per 100,000)          548                              479      (2008/09)

Incapacity benefit for mental illness              37.4                             27.6     (2008)

(per 1,000 working age pop.)

Deaths from smoking (per 100,000               229                              207      (2006/08)

population aged 35+

Early deaths heart disease/stroke                 85.3                             74.8     (2006/08)

(per 100,000 < 75)

Early deaths cancer (per 100,000 <75)        125                              114      (2006/08)

NB All rates per 100,000 are age standardized

Brigstow does better than the national average in areas such as breast feeding in children, smoking in pregnancy, prevalence of diabetes, adult obesity and excess winter deaths. However the reported rates of childhood obesity are 10.4% (national average 9.6%) and physically active children 46% (national average 49.6%) in 2008/09, indicating future problems.

The impact of the increasing number of older people in Brigstow may be gauged from the fact that every day, 6 people aged over 65 are admitted to Brigstow hospitals as a result of falls. Annually,1.3% of Brigstow’s over 65s sustain a fracture of the hip region which is estimated to cost £28.5million per annum. The proportion of the elderly population with dementia in Brigstow is close to the national average, i.e. 4,200 people over 65. The annual care costs for those people is estimated at around £130m.

Injuries also affect children and their incidence is closely related to multiple deprivation. For example, 50% of all children in parts of Northmead attend hospital annually as a result of accidental injury. Other key factors in child health are

· Under reporting to the authorities of children of asylum seekers

· Increasing numbers of child protection conferences convened because of domestic violence

· Unsatisfactory arrangements for the transfer of children in care through the 18-25 age group as evidenced by data from drug and alcohol treatment services.


All data sourced from APHO and Dept. of Health @ Crown Copyright, Office of National Statistics and the local authority.