Health inequalities in children and young people in Cumbria: policy and evidence review

Douglas-Brown, Charlene (2021) Health inequalities in children and young people in Cumbria: policy and evidence review. (Unpublished)

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Working in Cumbria, an area of exceptional natural beauty, one can be led to believe that children and young people are receiving an idyllic and healthy start to life. While this may be true for some, there are several geographical areas where this is far from the case. Children in these areas are significantly more likely to suffer from poorer health outcomes than those in other parts of Cumbria, and while this is well known anecdotally, this report aims to bring together the evidence required to support the assertions of those working with children in this area. Children living in deprivation often struggle to have their health needs met and this can have a significant impact on their day to day lives. For example, children who do not attend for regular dental care can not only suffer from the pain of dental decay, causing problems with concentration at school and so on, but their social interaction can also be affected due to issues of bad breath or visually poor dental hygiene. As practitioners working with children and young people, we see the impact of health inequalities on a day to day basis. All children deserve the opportunity to lead healthy and fulfilling lives and identifying health inequalities in the first step to achieving this.

The aim of this report is to explore data from multiple sources and provide an analytical discussion of those findings. It will focus on the health, wellbeing and inequalities of children and young people in Cumbria. Inequalities in social determinants of health are not inevitable, and are therefore considered avoidable and unjust (Marmot, 2010). Throughout the health system, inequalities exist from determinants to outcomes, and include inequalities in socio-economic and environmental factors, including: income, employment, housing, occupation and education, lifestyle and health behaviours. The most recent Joint Strategic Needs Analysis for Cumbria (Taylor, 2015) highlights the unique geographical challenges presented by Cumbria’s rurality and socio economic disparity. For example, Cumbria has 29 communities that are ranked amongst the most deprived in the country and life expectancy is 16.4 years lower for men and 14.6 years lower for women than those living in the most affluent communities in the county (Taylor, 2015). Statistics and findings for small, localised pockets of deprivation in rural areas are noted to often be lost in the average for the wider area (Curtis, 2004), therefore it is imperative that the needs of these smaller, more deprived areas are highlighted and acted upon.

Item Type: Report
Departments: Institute of Health > Nursing
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 10:58
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2024 12:32


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