Sefton is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England and its local authority is Sefton Council. The Borough consists of a coastal strip of land on the Irish Sea, and extends from the primarily industrial area of Bootle in the south to the traditional seaside resort of Southport in the north. In the south-east it extends inland to Maghull. Sefton has an approximate area of some 155km2
Sefton has a population of approximately 274,000, with 23% of Sefton’s population 65 years old or over (61,809) and one in five being aged under 18 (53,201). Sefton is ranked 18th out of 326 local authorities for the number of residents aged 65 or over.
Further information about Sefton, it's localities and it's residents can be viewed in Sefton's Profile.
Analysis of the 2018 data sets at population level, social & place, lifestyle, determinance of health, epidemiology, service access and utilisation indicate that the main health and wellbeing challenges in Sefton include:
- An ageing population which is also growing faster than the national average, increasing future demand for health and care services.
- Significant variation of issues across the Borough ranging from concerns relating to vulnerable ‘older people’ the North and challenges relating to a younger population structure in the South, with a different set of challenges relating to health-related behaviours, child health and sexual health. Community development and preventive approaches are vital in these areas.
- Increasing financial pressures affecting the local authority, Clinical Commissioning Groups and other agencies requiring changes to traditional patterns of service provision to ensure health and care services remain affordable.
- A complex configuration of local authority and health, with two Clinical Commissioning Groups and multiple NHS Trusts crossing local authority boundaries which creates extra challenges in terms of the continuity of services, planning and effective partnership working.
- Patterns of deprivation marked by isolated pockets and hidden need within communities and extremely high levels of deprivation in some core area with multiple endemic issues associated with housing, employment, and environmental issues. This creates additional challenges when addressing health inequalities and targeting services to those most in need.
- Significant issues with historical health patterns for some of the population deriving from previous heavy industrial and manufacturing work, along with on-going issues relating to the green and built environmental, air quality, and traffic issues a result of significant development in more recent years. This is in tandem with continued issues with poor housing stock has a direct impact on health with poor housing leading to an increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory disease, as well as anxiety and depression.
- Average earnings below the national average contribute to a number of issues including food poverty, homelessness, mental health and wellbeing, and fuel poverty.
- Significant gaps in health status and life expectancy between those living in the most deprived and least deprived areas.
- The need for a focus on mental health and wellbeing throughout the life course with a particular emphasis on groups and geographic areas where outcomes are comparatively poor and socio-economic deprivation, and an understanding of the relationship between mental and physical health.
- High levels of social isolation resulting in loneliness, which whilst most common on the older population, is increasingly evident in younger age groups. This has an immediate impact on mental health and wellbeing and a long-term impact on general health.
- The changing patterns of smoking, excess weight, physical activity, diet, alcohol, drug use and other behaviours should directly inform the planning of future interventions.
- The growing number of people with long-term conditions, sensory impairment, dementia, cancer and other health problems. This requires a particular focus on those living with multiple health conditions, as traditionally health systems have been largely configured for individual diseases rather than multi-morbidity.
- Growing levels of severe frailty in the population. Whilst frailty increases with age, signs of mild frailty can appear in people in the 20s and 30s, and more severe frailty in people in their 40s, 50s and 60s, with an earlier onset in more deprived areas. The detection of the early stages of frailty (known as pre-frailty) is important as the progression from pre-frailty to severe frailty typically takes 10 to 20 years, providing a window of opportunity to slow or ameliorate this progression. The detection of frailty in primary and community care, the early identification and treatment of disease, prevention, and the targeting of groups who are likely to be most affected are vital.
- Sefton’s population is diverse in its needs and inequality can take many forms, resulting in differing health and care needs to which health and care commissioners will need to respond.
- We will continue to analyse the data gathered to inform a local picture of health and wellbeing needs in Sefton.
- We will look for and reference examples and commentary on good practice.
- We will seek the community perspectives including the views, expectations, perceptions and experience of service users and local communities about what contributes to good health in Sefton.