HEALTH care for vulnerable residents in Warwickshire is not up to scratch.
While the annual health and wellbeing report by Warwickshire County Council’s public health department continues to show ‘significant’ improvements for the county’s population as a whole, groups deemed vulnerable fare less well. These can include older people suffering from loneliness, the homeless, those with mental health issues, those experiencing domestic violence, young people who self-harm, those at risk of sexual abuse, to child asylum seekers and those struggling financially to make ends meet.
Warwickshire director of public health Dr John Linnane said: “I am concerned that, while the health and wellbeing of the Warwickshire population in general has seen significant improvements over recent years, the health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups continues to lag behind.
“We want everyone in Warwickshire to experience good health and wellbeing. To make this a reality we need to focus attention on those who are at greatest risk of harm and enable them to achieve their aspirations.”
And county spokesman for health, Coun Les Caborn, claims improved healthcare for vulnerable groups would save money in the long-run.
He said: “We must strive continuously to ensure that those in the greatest need have access to the personalised support and services they need, to enable them to live fulfilling independent lives.
“This will improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable people and also makes good financial sense for public services. If we can prevent vulnerability or intervene earlier to reduce its impact, we can save money in the longer-term and improve health outcomes.”
The report showed the percentage of the adult population in South Warwickshire suffering depression was considerably above the national average, as was the number of young people treated in hospital for self-harming.
It also revealed one in seven of the 765 looked after children in the county were unaccompanied asylum seeking youngsters.
There were positives in the report including life expectancy rates. A baby born in Warwickshire today will live for an average of 80 years (male) or 83.6 years (female), marginally better than the national average.
And alcohol-related hospital admissions, the number of smokers, and teenage pregnancy rates, were all below the national average.
But a quarter of Warwicskhire’s population of around 550,000 was deemed to be physically inactive, with 65 per cent of adults either overweight or obese.
Visit warwickshire.gov.uk/publichealthannualreport to read the full report.