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Life expectancy in Telford's most deprived areas nearly decade shorter than in richest

By Alex Moore | Telford | Health | Published:

Life expectancy in Telford and Wrekin’s most deprived areas is nearly a decade shorter than in the richest, according to a report.

Health and wellbeing assistant director Liz Noakes writes that the health of the poorest communities “has either worsened or not improved” in the 21 years the borough has existed.

The document – due to be discussed by the council’s Health and Wellbeing Board next week – also forecasts that the working-age proportion of the population will fall by an eighth over the next 12 years, bringing new demands on housing and care services.

Ms Noakes writes: “Over the past 21 years the health of the borough has improved significantly. Life expectancy is now 78.3 years for men and 81.8 for women.”

Men can expect 60.9 and women 62.4 of those years to be lived in good health, she adds.

“Despite this improvement, health inequalities have widened as the health of our poorest communities has either worsened or not improved,” she says.

“The inequality in life expectancy between the most- and least-deprived areas is 9.6 years for men and 6.4 for women.”

She notes that positive signs include the reduction in smoking prevalence to 16.2 per cent of adults, less than the national average, and the facts that a majority of the children in Telford and Wrekin attend schools rated “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted and results up to Key Stage Two were all above the national average in 2018.

Ms Noakes writes that Telford and Wrekin is one of the fastest-growing local authority areas outside of London, with the population forecast to grow from 175,800 to 196,900 by 2031.

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“Much of the population growth is driven by internal migration, people within the UK moving to the borough,” she says.

“We will see notable changes in the age profile. There will be 3,700 more 0- to 15-year-olds, a 10 per cent increase, and 3,400 more aged 85+, a 98 per cent increase, by 2031.

“However, only 5,500 – just over a quarter – of the overall population increase will be in working-age people, meaning the ratio of the working-age population, 16-64, to non-working-aged will fall from 1.6:1 to 1.4:1.

“These demographic changes will impact on the future demand for services, impacting on housing and labour supply and specific roles such as carers.”

Ms Noakes’s report, a summary of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment profile of Telford and Wrekin, will go before the Health and Wellbeing Board on Thursday, September 26.

Alex Moore

By Alex Moore
@TelfordLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Telford.

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