Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Seaside Sickness

 England's chief medical officer says, Chris Whitty,  says a new national strategy is needed to tackle poor health and lower life expectancy in seaside towns. These places suffer from high rates of serious illnesses and have been "overlooked by governments" and had their "ill-health hidden", said Prof Whitty.  They need their own dedicated health improvement policy because the challenges facing towns such as Blackpool, Skegness and Hastings have more in common with each other than their inland neighbouring towns. There are deep-rooted social problems interwoven with poor health in coastal areas, the report highlights - such as low-paid seasonal jobs, underachievement in education, poor transport and overcrowded "houses of multiple occupation," which might be converted from former guest houses. Recruitment problems for health staff is a "common issue" in coastal areas, says the report. Heart disease, stroke, mental health problems, diabetes and higher rates of smoking are all more prevalent in seaside populations, the report warns, associated in turn with higher levels of coastal deprivation.

  • Blackpool: Most deprived local authority in England, lowest life expectancy for both males and females; highest rates of hospital admissions for alcohol‑related harm and drug‑related deaths
  • Torbay: High rates of heart disease, respiratory problems and diabetes; high density of low-quality private rented accommodation and reliance on caravan parks
  • Hull: A high economic impact and loss of jobs from Covid on an already "fragile" local economy, forecast to have a long-term detrimental impact on health.
  • Seaside poor health overlooked, warns Whitty - BBC News

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