Growth of preventable cases of diabetes threaten the health service

Obese copy

The number of people in London suffering from diabetes will rocket by 40% over the next 20 years, according to forecasts from Public Health England.

Its figures show that in 2016 there are 638,000 people over 16 with diabetes. But rising rates coupled with a growing population means that this will go up by more than a quarter of million to 895,000 by 2035.

PHE says that around 90% of the new cases will be Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by lifestyle factors and linked to obesity. It says these cases are preventable and tackling the problem is fundamental to the future of the health service.

John Newton of Public Health England said: “Developing diabetes in not an inevitable part of ageing.  We have the opportunity through public health to reverse this trend and safeguard the health of the nation and the future of the NHS.”

The PHE forecasts reveals a wide discrepancy in rates across the capital.  Brent has the highest rate of diabetes not only in London but in England with 11.5% of people with the condition today.  Kingston has the lowest rate in England at 6.7%.

The highest rates after Brent are in Harrow, Redbridge and Ealing. The lowest, apart from  Kingston, are in Richmond, Wandsworth and Islington.

Diabetes rate 2016

Both Brent and Kingston will retain their positions as the boroughs with the highest and lowest rates in England by 2035.  The rate in Brent will climb to 13.6% of the population.

The record in Ealing, Harrow and Redbridge will remain poor and Newham will be second only to Brent with a rate of 12.7%.

Kingston’s rate will rise to 7.6%, with neighbouring Richmond, plus Wandsworth and Islington remaining among the areas with lowest rates.

Diabetes 2035

The data shows a worsening situation throughout London over the next two decades.  Today there are seven boroughs where the prevalence of diabetes in the population is above 10%. By 2035 the rate is forecast to be one in ten or higher in 17 areas.

The biggest change in the rate of the condition between 2016 and 2035 is forecast to be in Tower Hamlets where the rate will go up by 24%.  The borough is also expected to see the biggest growth in population in the coming decades, as reported by Urbs. The combination of these factors will place severe pressure on local health services.

Diabetes is caused by the inability of the body to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. It is associated with an increased risk of stroke and heart attack. Sufferers may also develop kidney disease and foot ulcers, which can lead to amputation.

Source data

More diabetes stories

See also

Sportiest Londoners live in the wealthier south west boroughs

How the obesity rate doubled for the class of 2007

Size matters – and it depends where you live

 

Drug deaths hit their highest level for 15 years

heroin

The number of people killed by drug abuse in London is at its highest level this century.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 298 people died due to misuse of illegal substances in 2015, the highest number since 1999. It is also the highest death rate since the late 90s – 35 per million residents.

The rate of drug deaths has been increasing since 2012 after a downward trend this century from high points in the late 90s.  But although it has risen, the capital still has the second lowest mortality rate of all the regions in England and Wales. Only the East Midlands has a lower rate than London. The highest death rates are now in the North East, North West, Wales, and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Drug death rate regions-2

This is a turnaround from 1993, when the current data record begins.  London had the highest mortality rate and accounted for 23% of all deaths.  In 2015 that had halved to 12% of deaths as the problem of illegal drug misuse has become more widespread.

Drug death comparison-2

Across London, Haringey and central areas of Westminster, Lambeth, Southwark Camden, Islington and Tower Hamlets have that most serious problems.  The data at borough level is gathered for three-year periods due to very low numbers in some areas.  From 2013 to 2015, 43 people died in Haringey and 42 in both Westminster and Lambeth.

map drug deeaths 2015-2

There were fewer than 20 deaths in the period in most of the outlying boroughs, and in Merton, Barking and Dagenham and among the small population of the City of London the number of deaths was in single figures.

Source data

See also

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

Violence, disruption and drugs – why 20,000 pupils were excluded from school last year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoking on the rise in six boroughs but the city is stubbing out the habit

Smoking-2Against the general trend of both the city and the country, smoking has increased in six boroughs since 2012.

The latest data gathered by the Office for National Statistics through its large-scale Annual Population Survey reveals that the rate of smoking in 2015 compared to 2012 was up in Harrow, Haringey, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Newham and Tower Hamlets.

The biggest increase, of nearly 14%, was in Harrow, but the overall level of smoking remains low in the borough. Haringey, Newham and Tower Hamlets experienced an increase on rates that are among the highest in London.

smoking change 12-15-2

Although the increases are mostly small they are significant in the context of falling rates across the rest of the capital.  The average rate for London has gone down from 18.2% who said they were smokers in 2012 to 16.3% in 2015.  In Redbridge the rate fell by more than 30% over that period, according to the ONS figures. There were also steep declines in Brent and Bromley.

The data does not reveal the reason behind these changes.  It may be the consequence of changing habits or changes in the make up of the population in areas. It may be due to people aswering questions more honestly, as the survey relies on individuals to define themselves as smokers.

The rate of smoking in London is among the lowest for any region in England.  Across England 16.9% of people say that they are smokers. The rate is lower than that in 20 London boroughs.  The lowest rate in London is 11.5% in Redbridge, but it is nearly double that in Haringey where 22% of people said they smoked in 2015.  In five boroughs – Haringey, Lambeth, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham –  two or more in every ten people smoke.

Smoking rates-2

Apart from Redbridge, Richmond, Brent and Bromley all have a rate of smoking at around 12% or lower.

There are a number of measures of smoking carried out across the country.  A survey at GP surgeries of people over 15 carried out over two year periods found the level of smoking in London fractionally higher in 2014/15 than the most recent ONS data, It also recorded small rises in a handful of boroughs.

Source data

See Also

Police taking a relaxed approach to ban on smoking in cars

Low birth weight babies in Tower Hamlets 60% above London average

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire brigade missing response time target in 11 boroughs

© Michael Spring | Dreamstime.com

Photo: Michael Spring | Dreamstime.com

The average response time for the fire service in 11 boroughs is longer than the 6-minute target set by the London Fire Brigade.

The latest data shows that the average response time for the capital as a whole is well within the target.  In 2015 the average time it took from the fire brigade being alerted by a 999 operator to the first engine arriving at the scene was 5 minutes and 38 seconds.

The average is even faster in the City of London and the 13 boroughs that constitute inner London.  But only 8 of the 19 outer London boroughs met the target in 2015. In 2014 it was 15.  While the target is set for London as a whole the fire brigade says it aims to achieve this at borough level.

The slowest average response time is recorded in Hillingdon at 6 minutes and 45 seconds. The fastest is in Kensington and Chelsea, a full 2 minutes quicker at 4 minutes and 44 seconds.  The response time in Lambeth is also under 5 minutes.

fire service response

The response time is made up of two elements – the crew turn out time – how long it takes them to leave the fire station once alerted – and the travel time to the fire. The average turn out time for crews across London is 1 minute and 19 seconds, although crews in Newham have got the average down to 1 minute and 3 seconds.  The London Fire Brigade say that variation in turn out times is due to the layout of stations with times a little longer in older stations.

Travel times vary according to time of day and traffic conditions but also according to the location of fire stations.  The LFB says that the clustering of resources in inner London mean faster response times than in the outer areas of the city.

The London Fire Brigade deals with around 100,000 incidents per year.  The data shows that the attendance time of the first appliance was 6 minutes or under in 65% of calls.

The Brigade has 155 fire engines at 102 fire stations across London.  10 stations were controversially closed due to budget cuts in 2014 and a study by statistician Dr Benjamin Taylor at Lancaster University found that fewer than 50% of calls now met the 6 minute target in the areas around the closed station.

The London Fire Brigade says that it is committed to a principle that “Londoners should have equal entitlement to the fastest possible attendance times.”

Source data

See Also

Half of fire brigade call outs are false alarms and hospitals are repeated culprits

Fire brigade dealing with weekly call outs to lift obese people

A fifth of the blazes tackled by fire fighters are started on purpose

Falling numbers for free school meals but rates still among highest in country

children legsThe number of pupils claiming free school meals is continuing to fall in London. However, there is a greater proportion of children in nursery, primary and secondary schools claiming free lunches here than in many other parts of the country.

New data from the Department of Education shows that nearly 17% of London pupils are receiving free school meals in nurseries and primaries – more than two percentage points higher than the average in England.

Only the North East and West Midlands regions have a higher proportion of youngsters on the free meal scheme.  In Tower Hamlets and Hackney more than a third of under 11s are receiving free meals. The Merseyside borough of Knowsley is the only local authority with a higher rate.

In Southwark, a fifth of children are claiming free meals, a slight increase on last year.  But the numbers are down in Lewisham and Westminster, and the largest decrease took place in Islington where 29% of pupils are claiming school meal benefits, down from 38% last year, but still the third highest rate in the capital.

Free school meals primary

The trend is similar among secondary school pupils. On average, 13% of children over 11 are on the free meal scheme across England. The rate is similar in Outer London but significantly higher within inner London, with more than 40% in Tower Hamlets and 30% in Hackney and Islington. In Camden and Lambeth it is around a quarter of secondary school children.

Free school meals secondary-2

London varies hugely with outer areas pushing the capital average down.  Boroughs in the South West score as low or lower than many other parts of the country, with both Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames averaging less than 9% for students below the age of 16 claiming free school meals.

Free school meals are available to children from families who are claiming other types of benefit for unemployment or low income.  In 2013 the government extended the scheme so that all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 at state primary schools, ie all children under 8, receive free meals.  From year 3 onwards families must register and make a claim.

Entitlement to free school meals is commonly used as an indicator for children living in poverty. But many who are entitled to the benefit do not claim, a reluctance sometimes attached to social stigma. In London this year 215,000 children are judged to be eligible but only 180,000 are receiving free meals.

Source data

See also

105,000 extra secondary pupils pose huge challenge for capital’s schools

85% of children in private school in one area of West London

Schools data reveals ethnic mix with fall in proportion of white British pupils

 

Single mothers in London are biggest group hit by benefits cap

children legs

Single parents have been the hardest hit since the benefits cap was introduced two years ago. More than 20,000 in London have had their weekly benefits cut.

The impact on lone parents has been felt more in London, where 62% of capped households are single parents, compared with 56% across the country. Nine out of ten lone parents are women.

Single parent households capped-2

The benefits cap was introduced in April 2013.  It limits the total weekly support to £500 for a couples, with or without children, and single parents. For individuals without a child it is £350. The weekly allowance includes income support, jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and child benefit.

Many regions of the country have higher rates of people claiming out of work benefits than London yet 45% of the households capped over the last 2 years have been in capital. The benefits bill in London is pushed up by housing benefits claims that result from high rental costs.  90% of the families with two or three children that have been capped are in London. Elsewhere in the country it is easier for a family of this size to rent a home without housing benefit.  Outside London it is mostly larger families, with four children or more who are losing benefits.

The majority of households capped in London lost £50 or under from their weekly benefits but 119 have had £400 or more taken out of their claim.  Most of these were in Brent and Ealing, the two boroughs that saw most households capped.  The fewest capped households are in the more affluent areas in the south west of the city.

Benefits cap map-2

More families are likely to see their benefits cut this autumn when the cap is lowered. Currently a family can claim up to £26,000 a year. This will be reduced to just under £23,000 or £442 per week.

Source data

See also

 

Elderly show wealth divide – 75,000 not claiming pension, more rely on benefits

Families face the biggest premiums for renting homes in the capital

More “affordable” homes but the rents prove unaffordable for many

 

Mayoral Election Issues: Crime and Policing

Police_sagar simkhada shutterstock_333009221-2Like any major city, crime is a big issue for London and one of the key areas of responsibility for the capital’s new Mayor.  The Mayor sets the strategic direction and budget for the Metropolitan Police though a body called MOPAC (Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime).

Since Boris Johnson was re-elected in 2012, fear of crime among Londoners initially fell, but has started to gradually rise since 2014.  At the same time, confidence in the police has moved in the opposite direction – initially rising then falling more recently, according to the Met’s own survey data[1].

Policing 1-2

This fear of crime varies widely across the capital – from almost 50% of the residents of Newham, Hounslow and Brent to just 20% in Richmond.

Policing 2-2

The data shows that there can be a disconnect between fear of crime and the reality. Analysis by Urbs shows that at borough level there is little relation between citizen’s perception of the threat of crime and the actual level[2].  Barnet and Bromley, for example, have similar crime rates, but Barnet’s fear of crime level is over 40% higher than Bromley’s[3].

At city wide level crime has fallen in recent years. Crimes identified by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime as priorities (these include murder, violent assaults, muggings, burglary, theft from cars and criminal damage) are down from a high of around 35,000 crimes to around 25,000 a year. Breaking it down we can see a steady decline from 2008 to 2014, but, despite monthly fluctuations, the line has been stubbornly flat since then.

Policing 3-2

But a flat London-wide trend does not mean the same across the city.  Comparison of the latest 12-months with the previous shows some London boroughs, especially those close to the centre of the city, experiencing quite significant growth in these serious offences while many outer boroughs have enjoyed falls[4].

Policing 4-2

Although the Mayor sets the budget and strategic direction, the job of policing London falls to the Met, one of the biggest police forces in the world.  The force employs 46,000 people – of which 32,000 are police officers – that’s 4 times bigger than any other English police force, and the best resourced in the country by officers per head of population[5].

While police numbers across England and Wales have been cut in recent years, the Met has managed to maintain its resource – with only neighbouring Surrey and Thames Valley having a better trend[6].  These 32,000 officers are not evenly spread across the capital.  Almost 14,000 work in London-wide and specialist operations, including those combating terrorism.  The remaining 18,000 are allocated across the 32 London Boroughs (The City has its own police force)[7].  However, this is not an equal allocation.

Westminster, with its high number of commuting workers, shoppers and tourists, not surprisingly has the largest number of officers out on the streets.  Westminster has 5.4 officers per thousand residents while Barnet has just 1.3. That’s not because Barnet requires little policing; on a measurement of priority crimes per officer, North London looks under-resourced, with 23 crimes per officer in Barnet and Islington, and similar numbers in neighbouring boroughs, compared to just 13 in Kingston or 17 in Merton.   

Poicing 5-2

Keeping London safe has been a mantra for most candidates during the campaigning.  In the wake of attacks in Paris they have talked about ensuring the Met is equipped to meet the threat posed by terrorism.  The strategic balancing act for the Mayor will be to combine this requirement with the public demand for more neighbourhood officers to deal with crime at a local level and to make them feel more secure.

Source data

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/metropolitan-police-service-recorded-crime-figures-and-associated-data

[2] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/metropolitan-police-service-recorded-crime-figures-and-associated-data/resource/e831234d-2bde-4fff-8ab8-7e2e70f0677a

[3] Crime Rates; Barnet 61, Bromley 60.  Fear of Crime Barnet 40% Bromley 28%.  Source http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/metropolitan-police-service-recorded-crime-figures-and-associated-data/resource/e831234d-2bde-4fff-8ab8-7e2e70f0677a

[4] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/metropolitan-police-service-recorded-crime-figures-and-associated-data/resource/e831234d-2bde-4fff-8ab8-7e2e70f0677a

[5] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2015-data-tables

[6] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2015-data-tables

[7] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2015-data-tables

This report was produced in association with London Live’s special election programme, London Votes.

Suicide rises but London still has the lowest rates in England

despairThe number of people committing suicide is at its highest this century.  The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 5,122 people took their own lives in 2014, the most since 1999.

551 of them were in London, where the rate of suicide went up by 4% on the previous year.  But the longer term trend is down and the capital has the lowest suicide rates of any region in England and Wales.

Men are more than 3 times more likely than women to kill themselves.  The general rate of suicide in the London is 8.3 per 100,000 people. For men it is 13.2 and for women 3.8. For both genders, London has the lowest rates.

Suicide rate national

The figures include all people over 15 who are officially recorded by a coroner to have committed suicide, or whose death has been caused by an undetermined injury.  The ONS combines these to get an accurate suicide rate as research has shown that most of the undetermined deaths are likely to be suicides.

The increase in London between 2013 to 2014 was largely caused by higher numbers in Southwark, Barnet, Haringey and Croydon.

The City of London has by far the highest rate, but this is based on a very small number of people. Outside the City, Haringey had the highest rate in 2014, followed by Islington, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Hammersmith and Fulham.

Suicide rate map

 

Rates are a lot lower in outlying boroughs including Harrow, Ealing, Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston.

Source data

See also

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem

Anxious, unhappy, dissatisfied with life? Perhaps you live in Hackney or Barking?

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

For help and more information about suicide contact Samaritans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London’s unique language landscape where 26% don’t speak English at home

crowd backs turnedMore than a quarter of Londoners don’t speak English at home.  The latest figures, for 2015, show that the proportion of people who choose another language as their first choice for speaking to family has risen to 26%.

This is a uniquely London phenomenon. Across the UK the rate is just 8.5%.  It is highest in the West Midland, where there is a significant immigrant population and in Wales, where Welsh speakers affect the numbers.

Not speaking English chart

The figures from the Office for National Statistics, based upon its Labour Force Survey,  reveal that in Newham 58% of people are using a language other than English at home. As previous data analysis by Urbs has shown, Newham is home to London’s largest Pakistani community and a significant Indian-born population.

In neighbouring Tower Hamlets, 41% are choosing another language at home above English.  The borough has the largest number of Bangladeshi-born people in the capital.

Not speaking English map

In north London, 45% in Harrow and 43% in Brent will speak other languages ahead of English among the family.  Both boroughs have large Indian-born populations.

Ealing is home to London’s largest Polish-born population, and a significant Indian-born community, which may explain why 38% of people use a language other than English at home.

The rates are only at or below the national average in 2 boroughs, Richmond and Havering.

According to the latest population estimates, 37% of Londoners, or 3 million people, were foreign-born while 23% or 2 million people are not British citizens.

This is leading to a multi-lingual city full of bi-lingual people.  Department of Education data, reported by Urbs, shows that nearly half the primary school children and 40% of the secondary pupils in London do not speak English as their first language. In some boroughs three quarters of the students speak English as a second language.

The concern for social inclusion is those who speak no English at all. Data from the last census in 2011 revealed that there are 45,000 people, mostly women, who say that they cannot speak the language.  The Prime Minister has announced a £20 million programme of English tuition but was criticised for his targeting of Muslim women, although they are the largest group.

Source data

See also

Our multi-lingual city – English second language for half of primary pupils

East London likely focal point for PM’s English tuition for Muslim women

London is more diverse than the UN or Fifa

Poles and Pakistanis help shape the multi-cultural make up of the city

Teenage survey finds that Richmond has highest level of cannabis use

spliff-2The affluent borough of Richmond has the highest level of young people smoking cannabis in London.

A national survey of 15-year-olds found that 19% living in Richmond had tried the drug.  This is the second highest rate in England – the highest is 24% in Brighton.

Across London, 27% of 15-year-olds say that they have been offered cannabis, in line with the national rate.  A little over 1 in 10 say that they have tried smoking the drug but rates are higher in 13 boroughs.

Richmond stands out as having the highest rates, and as reported by Urbs, also has the highest proportion of teenagers drinking alcohol and getting drunk. 16% of 15 year-olds in Lambeth and Islington say they have tried cannabis, with 15% in Camden, Haringey, Lewisham and Wandsworth.

Cannabis map

Rates are much lower in the east of the capital. Just 6% in Tower Hamlets and Redbridge, 7% in Newham and 8% in Barking and Dagenham, and Havering.

The data from the What About YOUth survey reveals that young people from a mixed ethnic background are most likely to have been offered and tried cannabis.  Those from Asian backgrounds are least likely.  93% say they have never smoked the drug, according to the survey, compared to 89% of all 15-year-olds.

Richmond also has the highest rates for teenagers who say they have smoked cannabis in the last year (17%) and in the last month (8.5%).

The survey offered little evidence of a link between cannabis and other drugs. Just 3% of 15-year-olds in London say that they have tried other drugs, though rates are between 5-6% in Bromley, Haringey and Camden.

Source data

See also

Kensington teenage girls have the most negative body image in England

Teens saying no to booze, but Richmond tops list for 15-year-olds getting drunk

Low drug-related death rates hide middle-aged heroin problem