How Covid and the effects of lockdown have highlighted the health inequalities in Warwickshire's deprived communities

A draft version of the annual report of Warwickshire's health has been presented this week, with Covid and health inequalities dominating

Friday, 5th March 2021, 10:01 am

Dr Shade Agboola has presented a draft version of her first annual report as Warwickshire director of public health.

The facts and figures presented to this week’s health and wellbeing board of Warwickshire County Council were dominated by Covid-19 but also highlighted some of the health inequalities across the county.

The report, which is seen as a way of informing residents about the health of their community, flagged up some of the issues encountered over the past 12 months.

The facts and figures presented to this week’s health and wellbeing board of Warwickshire County Council were dominated by Covid-19 but also highlighted some of the health inequalities across the county.

It explained: “Covid-19 has impacted on everyone's health and wellbeing. It has highlighted the health inequalities which exist nationally and locally. For example, nationally the most deprived areas are more than twice as likely to have higher rates of mortality from Covid-19 compared to the least deprived areas.

“People who are in lower paid occupations are also twice as likely to die compared to those in higher occupations, and people from BAME communities are at more risk of having more severe symptoms of Covid-19.

“The aim of this report is to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on health inequalities in Warwickshire. Case studies have been used to illustrate the impact locally from both Covid-19 survivors and wider impact of lockdown on our residents. These case studies show the benefits from accessing services and support to improve their health and wellbeing.

“It has also demonstrated the need for services to understand the lives of the people they are working with and be able to engage in holistic conversations to understand the underlying or hidden problems that people face, making sure they are able to get access to the support they need.

“The recommendations in the report will aim to improve the health and wellbeing of Warwickshire’s population and reduce the health inequalities which exist. “

Elsewhere in the draft report Dr Agboola outlined areas of concern in the county where figures were above the national average. These included adult obesity, homelessness and the number of hospital admission for unintentional and deliberate injuries in children aged up to 14.

But she also highlighted the progress made on some of the recommendations from the previous report in 2019 including the creation of a wellbeing manager role to support businesses with their ‘Thrive at Work’ initiative.

Councillors noted and supported the draft report. The full version will be published at the end of the month.