Steps to address huge health inequalities in Trafford

Steps are being taken to address Trafford’s huge health inequalities.

Since the start of the pandemic, the differences between sections of the county in terms of illnesses, diseases and health conditions have become even more pronounced.

In one example, a recent Council report highlighted how the number of cancer deaths, diabetes cases and obesity rates in north and west Trafford now exceed those in the wealthier southern areas of the borough.

The levels of poverty experienced across Trafford are also thought to have ‘deepened’ since the start of the pandemic.

Now the council says it is acting to address these issues.

A council health equality report said: “Improving equality in everything we do is a key priority and the unequal impact of Covid-19 has shed light on areas where inequalities urgently need to be addressed. We are working to ensure that equality and inclusion good practices are implemented and incorporated in all areas.

“Our Poverty Strategy aims to address the root causes of poverty in our communities and help those for whom the poverty and inequalities they were experiencing before the pandemic have since deepened.”

To try to tackle health inequalities, Trafford council is taking specific measures, including better access to and uptake of Covid-19 vaccines, cancer screening appointments and mental health support.

Some of the other measures to be adopted, subject to an executive vote tonight (Monday, January 24), include:

  • Improve vaccination acceptance among ethnic communities and vulnerable populations
  • Reduce variations in cancer screening by population groups, between general practice clinics and PCNs (primary care networks)
  • Provide pop-up covid-19 vaccination clinics
  • Trafford is one of three Greater Manchester locations that works with the
    Center for Mental Health (CfMH) to try to reduce disparities in mental health throughout the county; work on this should start in the next six months.
  • Provide training and support for suicide prevention, as well as raise awareness of the problem.
  • Redesign the NHS health check for the borough over 40s, including the possibility of lowering the age of eligibility for these checks for people from ethnic communities.
  • Address smoking habits by distributing Trafford e-cigarette tools, quit kits, videos, posters and awareness
  • Empower people with disabilities through community projects
  • Offer fall prevention classes for seniors
  • Offering active lifestyle options; Including wellness and sofa within 5 km of groups through the municipality.
  • Providing weight management support services for adults in Trafford
  • Healthy lifestyle programs and school programs to reduce obesity, focusing on schools with the highest prevalence of excess weight, are also being piloted for children and youth in the municipality.
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The new strategy is a joint program between Trafford City Council and the Trafford NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and will be voted on by the Council Executive from 6.30pm this afternoon.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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