Elderly bear the brunt of deprivation in the capital

Hands walking stick Kristo-Gothard Hunorshutterstock_162933494

Photo: Kristo-Gothard Hunor ┃Shutterstock.com

Elderly people in London are being left behind in the fight against deprivation.

Over the past 5 years a number of boroughs that were among the most deprived local authorities in England have reduced multiple causes of deprivation in many neighbourhoods. Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Haringey have pulled themselves above the bottom 20 boroughs in England since 2010.

But in these districts and others in the capital thousands of older people are living in income deprived households.  This is a particular problem for London. Of the 10 boroughs in England with the highest level of over 60s living in income deprived households, 7 are in London including the 3 with the worst record, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham.

Local authorities with the highest proportion of older people in income deprivation
1 Tower Hamlets 49.7%
2 Hackney 43.1%
3 Newham 41%
4 Manchester 36.3%
5 Islington 36.1%
6 Southwark 34.3%
7 Lambeth 33.2%
8 Liverpool 32.7%
9 Knowsley 32.6%
10 Haringey 31.8%

5 more are in the 20 most income deprived boroughs for older people – Brent, Barking and Dagenham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Camden and Lewisham.

In Tower Hamlets nearly half the old people are living in income deprived households. The borough also has the worst record on children in income deprived households with 39% of under 16s affected.  In 6 other boroughs (Islington, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Lambeth and Southwark) at least 30% of children are living in income deprived households.

These figures are revealed in data gathered for the Department of Communities and Local Government for the Index on Multiple Deprivation – the government’s measure of levels of deprivation across England. The index looks at 7 areas – income, employment, education, health and disability, crime, housing and the living environment.

The government measures deprivation in small areas called LSOAs.  Each of these neighbourhoods has around 1,500 residents.  There are 32,844 of them in England and 4,835 in London.

275 of these neighbourhoods in London are among the 10% most deprived in England. London has done well in reducing deprivation over the past 5 years, but the borough map shows a clear divide with much higher levels of deprivation in the east.

Deprivation borough map

The most deprived neighbourhood in the capital, according to the index, is an area of Hackney to the south of Homerton High Street and west of Mabley Green.  This neighbourhood is home to 1,300 people.

Of the 5 most deprived neighbourhoods in London, 2 are in Hackney, 2 in Westminster and 1 in Islington. The least deprived neighbourhood, according to the index, is in Bromley.

Source data

See also

Areas where pensioners most likely to be lonely identified

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

Elderly losing out in city with high levels of digital skills

98,000 not claiming their pension in a tale of two Londons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drug resistant TB poses health and financial concern

Mycobacterium_tuberculosis_Bacteria,_the_Cause_of_TB_By NIAID [CC BY 2.0 (http-//creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 2.

Photo: by NIAID CC BY 2.0

London faces a potential health care and treatment funding crisis caused by the development of drug resistant TB.

There were 2,500 cases of tuberculosis in London last year, that’s more than any other western European city. 9% of those cases were resistant to the first line of antibiotics used to fight the infection. And the Health Committee of the London Assembly warns that drug resistance is set to rise.

In its report Tackling TB in London the Health Committee highlights how the risk from TB is increased by the lack of knowledge and the social stigma attached to the disease and it calls on the Mayor to do more to raise awareness.

It also suggests a more unified and consistent approach to treating the infection across the capital. Currently, treatment and prevention is handled at a local level and the approach varies between the 30 clinics. The committee warns that this can lead to a fragmented approach. This is underlined by the fact that only 24 of the 32 boroughs offer universal vaccination against TB to babies.

Cases of TB have risen by 50% in the last 15 years. A third of boroughs have what is classified by the World Health Organisation as a high incidence – that is more than 40 cases per 100,000 people. But in some areas of Newham, Brent, Hounslow, Harrow and Ealing it is over 150, a higher level than many developing world counties such as Rwanda or Iraq.

At borough level, Newham has the highest incidence in London and England, followed by Brent. London accounts for 40% of all TB cases in England.

TB map

TB is caused by bacteria and spread through coughing and sneezing. It most commonly affects the lungs, causing serious illness, and is potentially fatal.

It is treated by a 6-month course of antibiotics that costs around £5,000. Last year £30 million was spent tackling TB in London. Drug resistant strains of the infection require complex treatments often involving hospital care and costs are typically 10 times higher or more.

TB is closely linked to social deprivation with those who are homeless, living in overcrowded conditions, misusing drugs and alcohol, or with weakened immune systems particularly vulnerable.

Many people who are exposed to the tuberculosis bacterium will fight it off or may carry it in their bodies without getting sick. This is known as latent TB.

More than 80% of the cases in London are seen in people born outside the UK, though only a small proportion in those who have recently arrived. The most common countries of origin for non-UK born cases are India, Pakistan and Somalia.

Sufferers may have contracted TB in countries with high incidence and carried the infection in latent form only for it to become active while living in London.   Chronic illness or poor housing and nutrition may have acted as a trigger in these cases.

The rate for non-UK born cases has fallen in recent years but those for UK residents have remained unchanged.

The Health Committee reports says that far from being a disease of London’s past TB continues to present a significant public health challenge.

Source data

Tackling TB in London report

Borough level data

See also

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

Sexual infection map shows problems for Lambeth and Southwark

Health and wealth – an East/West divide when it comes to a flu jab