Work Needed To Address Deprivation and Ill Health in Stoke-on-Trent

A report into the current and future health needs of city residents has been jointly produced by two authorities.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and NHS Stoke on Trent have compiled a 300-page assessment to analyse the city’s population, ethnicity and deprivation levels, as well as education, employment, housing and health needs.

The report has been compiled following work with a wide range of public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations which work to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.

The report shows:
* That in the next five years, there will be a 24 per cent increase (3,000 people) in the number of 5-9 year olds in the city; and a 29 per cent increase (3,000 people) in the number of 65-74 year olds.

* That black and minority ethnic groups make up seven per cent of the population, with many living in deprived communities.

* That the city is the 16th most deprived in England, and ranked seventh nationally for educational deprivation.

* That 48 per cent of young people achieved five or more A* to C grades at GCSE, including Maths and English, as opposed to 54.9 per cent nationally.

* That 17.7 per cent of the adult population has no formal qualifications.

* That average personal incomes are 30 per cent lower in the city than the national average.

* That 75 per cent of pensioners living in private sector housing live in fuel poverty.

* That life expectancy for males is 75.4 years (national average 77.9 years) and for females is 79.8 years (national average 82 years).

* That circulatory disease, cancer and respiratory disease make up 75 per cent of all deaths in the city.

* That around 31 per cent of adults smoke (national average 24 per cent) and that smoking causes 40 per cent of all male deaths and 25 per cent of all female deaths.

* That 73 per cent of people drink alcohol regularly.

* That over 30,000 people each year experience common mental health problems ““ depression, anxiety or phobias.

* That around 3,000 people suffer some level of dementia.

The report goes on to show work taking place to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.

It shows that:

* The number of deaths from circulatory disease has more than halved in the last 10 years ““ from around 1,600 in 1995-7 to 700 in 2006-8.

* The rate of teenage pregnancies is reducing ““ 61 conceptions per 1,000 population in 2008 compared to 68.5 per 1,000 in 1998.

* The percentage of 16-18 year olds not in education, employment or training continues to fall ““ from 16 per cent in 2006/7 to 10 per cent in 2009/10.

* That the city is performing well with programmes to contain Chlamydia and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The report goes on to say that cancer prevention and early diagnosis should be given a high priority, and that continued priority should be given to bowel cancer screening.

“This information is vital in providing the evidence needed to formulate strategic priorities and solutions for services to improve health and wellbeing of residents and reduce inequalities.

“We know that the city faces many challenges, and this document baldly shows just how tough those challenges are. But it also shows the good work being done, and the extent of the work needed to help improve the quality of life for residents in the future.

“We and our partners are committed to doing everything we can to drive up health standards, but residents need to be committed to helping themselves too.”

“Poor health in the city is linked to the issue of deprivation and the situations that occur because of it. Improvements are being made but whilst NHS Stoke on Trent and our social care colleagues can work to address some of the symptoms of deprivation, to tackle health inequalities further we really need to see a push for other sectors of the community working together to do more.

“Vulnerable children are at greater risk of not being healthy in Stoke-on-Trent so to give them the best start in life we really need to carry on with a combined model of midwifery, health visiting and early years service which has a real positive impact on child development, as well as schemes like the Family Nurse Partnership. Programmes to reduce smoking and obesity also need to continue as a major priority and although rates have improved we will need to do more to tackle teenage and unwanted pregnancies by targeting vulnerable groups.”

New Sponsor For The James Brindley Academy

NHS Stoke-on-Trent has stepped down as lead sponsor for the proposed James Brindley Academy and is to be replaced by the Ormiston Trust.

Following the publication of the Department of Health White Paper which proposes to abolish Primary Care Trusts by April 2013 Stoke-on-Trent Primary Care Trust (NHS Stoke-on-Trent) has decided to step down as lead sponsor on the proposed James Brindley Academy project in Stoke-on-Trent.

NHS Stoke-on-Trent made this difficult decision to ensure the project can continue forward without any doubts about the sponsorship and so that business could continue as normal for everyone involved.

The Department for Education has agreed that the Ormiston Trust already the sponsor of the Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy which replaced Blurton High School this September, can become the lead sponsor. Ormiston Trust will work with NHS Stoke-on-Trent and Keele University as strategic partners to deliver the new academy to the current timescales.

A non-profit organisation, Ormiston Trust first sponsored Gateway Academy in Thurrock in 2006, and now sponsors eleven academies across the UK, four of which opened this September in East Anglia, Stoke-on-Trent and Cheshire.

Ormiston Trust’s Managing Director Joyce Hodgetts commented: “We are delighted to become the sponsor of the proposed James Brindley Academy. Ormiston is committed to improving the life chances of young people as demonstrated by the excellent recent results of our 7 existing academies. We are very proud of the sustained success of the work we do and look forward to the staff, students and parents being a part of this.”

Chris Dawes, Chairman of NHS Stoke-on-Trent, stated: “Despite the change in status following the Health White Paper everybody at NHS Stoke-on-Trent remains committed to the vision of the new academy at James Brindley and are eager to work with Ormiston Trust and Keele University to make the vision a reality.”

The Academy will continue to have Science and Health as specialisms, and Clive Rigby will continue to be Principal Designate.

In addition, the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding for the new academy was secured last month and the work to translate the education vision into an early design has been progressing throughout the summer.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for children and youing people’s services, Cllr. Debra Gratton, said: “Obviously we’re disappointed the NHS Stoke-on-Trent won’t be able to continue as the lead sponsor but they will still have involvement with the new academy and we’re delighted that Ormiston Trust have agreed to take over. I would like to assure pupils, staff and the local community that this will in no way affect the timetable for the building of the new academy.”

Building work on the new academy is due to begin in September 2011 with pupils moving into the new school two years later. However, the Academy is still on course to open in existing buildings in September 2011.

Growing Healthy Communities As Fresh Food Goes On The Menu In Middleport

Residents are being encouraged to grow their own fruit and vegetables in a project designed to get communities active and healthy.

Project Grow is a pilot scheme being trialled in Port Street and Travis Street, in Middleport. On Saturday (14) residents are being given the chance to have a literal “Ëœtaster’ as staff encourage people to sign up to the courses and offer free cookery tasting sessions and advice at the Middleport Park Community Fun Day between 12pm and 4.30pm.

The scheme, which will give tips and advice on exercise, gardening and using fresh food to cook, is set to start in September to prepare residents for next year’s growing season. It follows research by VAGA Associates for NHS Stoke on Trent that found nearly half (42.7%) of residents in Middleport would be interested in growing their own food.

“Project Grow is a fantastic initiative giving people the chance to learn new skills and improve not only their health but their family’s lifestyle as well. I know from my own experience that it is all too easy to turn to takeaways and microwave dinners for food as they are quick and easy to prepare. Growing your own food is not only fun but a great way of getting active and eating something fresh and tasty.”

The scheme is being trialled in Port Street and Travis Street as part of a RENEW project to regenerate the area. If successful it is hoped, with future funding, the pilot can be expanded into the wider Middleport area.

The event at Middleport Park will help sign up prospective students, explain how the project will be run, how the community can get involved and provide workshop taster sessions. There will be a number of activities at the stand including a plant giveaway and cookery tasting sessions.

In Burslem South, which covers Middleport, only 1 in 5 (21.3%) of the population live within 500m of a fresh food retailer. However, 98.9% of residents live within 500m of a fast food retailer.

Research undertaken by VAGA associates for NHS Stoke on Trent in 2009 found that nearly half (42.7%) of Middleport residents would be interested in growing their own food.

Project Grow is designed to help residents to live healthier lifestyles by growing their own food. This is not only economical for residents but also encourages people to get active, using gardening as a form of exercise, and also helps people to think more about what they eat and the meals they prepare.

The project is designed to compliment initiatives being run by NHS Stoke on Trent, such as Living well Stoke on Trent and My Health Matters, to reduce the cost of obesity to the health service. In 2007, the cost to NHS Stoke on Trent of treating diseases related to obesity was £77.9 million, around 20% of its total service budget. This figure is predicted to rise to £86.4 million by 2015.

Chris Leese, from NHS Stoke on Trent’s Lifestyle Support Programme, said: “We are keen to support communities’ active involvement in local health improvement schemes.”

Residents signed up to the programme will undertake a series of workshops that will prepare them for the 2011 growing season. Workshops will cover topics such as cooking, exercise, gardening and healthy eating.

At the end of the programme, residents with excellent attendance will be rewarded with a 3ft by 3ft square garden planter to grow their own fruit and vegetables at home.

During the programme it is also envisaged that a “Ëœcommunity booklet’ will be produced containing recipes, gardening ideas and local history for the area.

10% Reduction in LSP Funding For City Council

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and its Local Strategic Partners have had 10% cut from their Area Based Grant due to savings handed down to them by the Government.

The Area Based Grant, is an amount of money given to local authorities each year. It is used to fund joint projects with other public bodies such as Staffordshire Police and NHS Stoke-on-Trent.

The reduction in funding, equating to around £3.4million from areas of work of the Local Strategic Partnership. This will be broken down into the following areas:

  • Children and Young Peoples Services – £1.5m from a yearly budget of £8.8m
  • Economic Development and Enterprise – £850,000 from a yearly budget of £6.4m
  • Safer City Partnership – £500,000 from a yearly budget of £6.8m
  • Health and Wellbeing – £400,000 from a yearly budget of £11m
  • Central £125,000 from a yearly budget of £800,000

Councillor Ross Irving, cabinet member for the LSP and Partnerships, said, ‘These are cuts being imposed by central government in what are tough financial times. We have no choice in passing on this reduction, and have to reprogramme accordingly.’

‘Each of the partners in the LSP affected by these cuts has worked with us to review expenditure and make the savings in ways which will cause the least impact on our community. This is of course just the beginning ““ the government have talked about making 25% cuts across the public sector and we need to be prepared for that.’

Councillor Irving continued, ‘We are making sure that the front line services that we all provide will be catered for and we are going to ensure that they continue to be funded to the best of our ability.’

‘The important thing is recognising the good work the LSP has done. Many aspects of the city are now fundamentally better as a result of the strong partnership working across very many areas. That must continue and we will make sure that as little of this as possible is impacted on by these savings.’

Staff affected by the announcement have already been informed by their managers.

Graham Urwin, Chief Executive NHS Stoke on Trent said, ‘As a partner in the LSP NHS Stoke on Trent has been involved in both the review of expenditure and how we can help minimise the impact of this challenge for the people of Stoke-on-Trent. We recognise the importance of partnership working and the LSP has made a real difference to our city and will continue to do so.’

Chief Inspector Peter Hall, from Staffordshire Police, added, ‘Lots of work has been done since the Safer City Partnership was created, and it’s clear with reduced budgets that savings across the board have to be made.

No area of business can be immune and we’ve had to look seriously at those areas of our business that we can spend less money on whilst having the least impact on front line service delivery.’