Life president and co-founder Community Links Kevin Jenkins on latest Newham deprivation statistics


- Credit: Archant

The findings of the Department of Communities and Local Government English Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015 indicated that Newham had progressed from being the second most deprived local authority in England in 2010 to now being the 25th most deprived authority.

It is, therefore, difficult to understand why such a significant improvement in levels of deprivation experienced by Newham residents has failed to result in an improvement in the overall quality of health in Newham. As in the same week, the figures released by the Office for National Statistics indicate that Newham is second from bottom out of 152 local authorities in England when it comes to the length of time Newham residents can expect to live without a limiting long standing illness or disability.

It is a travesty that children being born in Newham can expect only 58 years healthy life on average if you are male and only 57 years if you are female, periods which are some 11 years shorter for men and 14 years shorter for women if they lived just a few miles away at the other end of the District Line at Richmond-Upon-Thames. These figures indicate starkly that all the education and prevention programmes delivered over the last five years and the associated resources that funded them have sadly failed to make any significant impact.

For me, good health is the most important attribute everyone needs if they are to enjoy a fulfilled and happy life, until improvements in deprivation in the borough are matched by the improvements in health, Newham people will not be able to benefit fully from the better quality of life that results from reduced physical deprivation.

To improve this we need key organisations working together towards common goals. The Newham Health and Wellbeing Board urgently needs to review why the prevention and awareness raising initiatives have failed and put in place strategies that are needed.

Only when improvements in deprivation and health match will Newham’s population enjoy an increased length of life. More from Kevin