In reference to the Newham London Local Economic Assessment, 2010 to 20279 (2010), “the population in Newham is rising and is projected to continue to rise significantly. It has a very young and highly diverse population, and will benefit from a demographic dividend over the next decade, with high proportions of working age individuals and lower proportions of older and younger dependents. In the longer term the working age population will become older to 2031, though the overall population profile should still be younger than the national average. It is a highly deprived borough with especially high rates of deprivation affecting children and older people. Poverty in the borough is high and life expectancy is lower than the London average.”
While Newham encompasses a lot of other areas, however this report will focus solely of Newham. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) the population of Newham is estimated to be 241200 in 2009. Newham, however, believes that this is an undercount of the population in the borough, arguing that this count looks at the international migrants who lived in the borough for less than a year. The population in Newham is diverse because it has a mixture of cultural identities, religious beliefs, socioeconomic backgrounds and sexual orientations. The residents of Newham experience a high level of deprivation. It has increased in income and in the barriers to housing and services; these services increased drastically due to low level incomes which is making owner–occupations harder to accomplish.
According to a research conducted by the New Policy Institute (NPI) and commissioned by the trust for London, Newham’s overcrowding is more acute than in the rest of London. The research also determined that Newham’s problems with housing extend further than overcrowding. For example, there are many people living in temporary accommodation, not because the prices of the properties in Newham are much higher than property prices in other boroughs, but rather because the people living in Newham are much poorer. The poverty rate according to Institute (2013) is classed as “high” in Newham, as is the rate of child poverty; this is because many parents depend on benefits or are out of work in this borough. Newham has a higher rate of jobseekers allowance which indicates that unemployment levels are high and that people are dependent on the government. According to Newham – Key Statistics (2013), Newham is seen to have the highest levels of unemployment in London and the second lowest job density in London. It has a very transient population which means many people move on in less than a year of coming into the borough.
Newham – Key Statistics (2013) stated that Newham had the highest crime rate in London during October 2010. However, in 2013 the Metro Politian Police (MPS), who measured crime rate in each borough, noted that Newham is now the seventh highest in crime rate in London. This means that there has been a slight improvement in the crime rate.
Health and wellbeing needs
According to the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, the London Borough of Newham assessment 2010 (2013), Newham provides immunisation programmes and as a result common childhood illness have been eradicated and the high levels of death and harmful outcomes have been reduced. However, while the immunisation programmes have been effective, not all of Newham’s population have access to this because it is not yet available in all areas. This is an important public health issue that needs to be tackled because immunisation is a significant method to protect children from serious disease and also protects the community by ensuring the spread of disease is minimised.
An Accident and Emergency clinical quality indicator (2013) was able to observe a total of 112596 patients in 2012. This produced an average of one patient being seen to every four minutes for 24 hours a day. 97% of the patients who did not need to be admitted were seen, treated and discharged within four hours in September 2012. This is above the national standard which is 95% and reflects the hard work that Newham has put into the initial assessment. Newham can be seen to be continuing this working hard as they have added an additional three clinicians in the evening to ensure the waiting time is as low as possible.
Newham’s average time to treatment is still above 60 minutes. This is due to the sickest patients being prioritised which means that patients who are not as “sick” may have to wait longer. However, there is an escalation procedure which allows the medical and surgical specialist teams to work in the Emergency Department when waiting time is prolonged.
Public health plays an important role in a community because it focusses on the prevention rather than the treatment of disease. It also reduces the rate of premature death and minimises the effects of the disease, disability and injury. The key population characteristics of Newham (2013) stated that Newham was part of the lowest area uptake of the pneumococcal vaccine for people aged 65 years to prevent infection. This is an important influence within Newham because it will reduce the volume of changes to the population and reduce the chances of getting or spreading the infection. However, the uptake of the vaccine is low which suggests that the relevant people are not aware of this vaccine and that they need to be encouraged to take it. Despite this, Newham can be seen to have the third highest uptake in the seasonal flu vaccine which prevents the population from getting this infection.
Newham has a foundation called the trust vision which is available to provide excellent mental health care to the community. The trust works in partnership with the service users, their families and their carers. They also have Newham Asian Women’s Project (NAWP) which offers domestic violence services by providing safety and emergency housing, encouraging women to live independently and training them in accredited and non-accredited courses to enable them to better their chances of finding employment.
Newham University Hospital Department of Sexual Health provides sexual health services for pregnant women, babies and children. They also offer treatment, counselling, contraception, psychosexual and psychology services. Newham provides rapid HIV testing and results can be available in one hour. This service is free and results are kept confidential. In addition to this, Newham have a young employment scheme which provides great opportunities for young people to develop their skills and to acquire a better chance of attaining permanent employment.
Newham has a centre for adults with mental health problems which provide inpatient services to its residents. This is provides access to a triage ward as the first step for all patients who are newly admitted. Patients that may need ongoing care or support are able to receive support from many other different teams within the Newham community.
In 2031, Newham’s working-age population will become older. This means that there will be an increase in people over the age of 65 and a decrease of people in the working age. Consequently, it is anticipated that much of Newham’s population will be claiming benefits, such as state pension, and there will be less people working and paying income tax. It is inferred that this older population will be less likely to commit crime which means the crime levels will reduce in Newham. The older population can make a positive contribution to the population with the services they provide, as many of the older population are still physically and mentally healthy and willing to work.
Newham is currently facing a high level of unemployment which will affect the economy in 2031; because unemployment is expensive. These high levels of unemployment will impact on the families or individuals who are unemployed but also upon the local and area economies, and the economy as a whole. Unemployment will also cause a waste in economic resources because the time an individual is not working cannot be recovered; therefore, this will decrease the growth of the economy.
Increasing unemployment is also related to social and economic deprivation. There is a link between rising unemployment levels and rising crime rates, which will in turn lower the life expectancy for an individual. An area with such high unemployment will also see a decline in real income and spending. There will also be a high level of relative poverty and income inequality because the younger workers are more physically mobile than older workers. For Newham’s economy to improve there are many changes the borough has to make; for example, if poverty levels do not reduce, then by 2031 this can lead to homelessness because some people will not be able to afford housing. There might be a decrease in the quality of young people’s education because they might have social problems and feel that they do not belong in schools with other children.
Newham provides several significant health care provisions for its population; however, there are limitations to these and parts of the community are unable to benefit from the healthcare provisions. There has been shown to be a link between deprivation and educational achievements, and it is indicated that it is necessary for the government to tackle families living in deprivation and to improve employment support systems. Deprivation can start at home with families where parents, for example, are unemployed and this poverty is inherited by the children. This issue can be resolved by building an enterprise in the society whereby small firms can survive and reach their potential. This will increase the level of employment in the population. Newham can also encourage the population to start their own businesses; this will also increase the employment rate. Adults need to be provided with skills for life and also need to have their access to learning improved. This will help develop their self-confidence, life skills and self-esteem.
Newham has a transient population because people tend to move out of the borough in less than a year. In order to solve this problem, Newham would have to provide suitable employment as well as an urban environment that will encourage the population to settle in the borough for a long period. Having a population that is able to work is the best solution to lower the high rate of poverty and the role of the government in this situation must be emphasised, particularly with regards to breaking down the barriers of work and by helping workers access new opportunities. The young people in Newham who are not attracted or suited to academic learning should be provided with alternative routes to employment, such as apprenticeships or volunteer opportunities that will allow the young people to get key work experience. Improving the links between businesses and education providers in Newham will allow young people who leave education to have the necessary skill that future employers will require to build the future economy.
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