Alcester’s key role in important county-wide health report

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Local representatives who attended the launch of the Warwickshire Joint Strategic Needs Assessment into the health and wellbeing of the county included, Susan Juned, Stratford District Council, Mark Cargill, Warwickshire County Council, Kathryn Cargill, Community Care Committee, Alcester, and deputy mayor of Alcester, Emily van de Venter, Chloe Kinton, Rob Sabin and Charles Barlow all Warwickshire County Council.

AN important report on the health and well-being of people of all ages and from all over the county of Warwickshire was launched in Alcester recently.

The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) report is an in-depth assessment of the current health and future needs of residents right across the county.

Locally, Alcester has played a lead role helping to deliver the JSNA in a geographical area that stretched from Bidford to Tanworth and included a population of 50,000. It was chosen because it represented an ideal rural location with a growing community of all ages. Henley and Studley were also included in the research.

Warwickshire County Councillor for Alcester, Mark Cargill said: “I was delighted that Alcester was chosen as one of the trial areas which is quite interesting as we have low urban but high rural populations. I believe the other category was high urban and included Nuneaton and Bedworth. I think this is one of the most important health reports ever produced and it should help direct the health of residents for years to come.”

Age, health, poverty, education and social care were just some of the key issues assessed in the report which raised concern about the mental health of young people including hospital admissions for self-harm patients aged 10 to 24.

‘Obesity rates among residents of this JSNA are not higher than local or national rates but rates are rising nationally and needs to be addressed among the whole population as excess weight is linked to an increased risk of circulatory, conditions, diabetes, certain cancer and other chronic conditions,” the report found.

There is a higher rate of heart related conditions in this JSNA area likely to be related to the older age profiles of the areas. Additionally, the esitamted prevalence of undiagnosed hypertension was significantly higher than the national figure for those aged 16 or over.

There’s been a significant increase in the number of people using foodbanks. Arden Food Bank, Alcester reported an 88 per cent increase (2017 to 2018) in adult visitors due to low incomes.

Educationally, the picture is encouraging with early years education children achieving a good level of development and 92 per cent of pupils attending a good or outstanding school.

“The intention of this report is that it should provide high quality information that health organisations, doctors, charities, councils etc can use to focus their efforts and better respond to societies changing needs,” Cllr Cargill said.

For more information on the JSNA report visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk