Social Statistics

One of the main reasons the charity is needed is due to the health inequalities that exist in Greater Manchester, one of the most deprived cities in England.

There were 184,336 children in Greater Manchester living below the breadline in March 2020, even before the cost of housing was taken into account.

The figures mean that even before coronavirus hit, more than one in every four children in Greater Manchester was living in poverty (26%) - higher than the national average of one in five (20%).

The figure ranges from 13% in Trafford to 38% in Oldham, which is one of the highest proportions in the country.

In one neighbourhood in Oldham, shockingly nearly four in every five children are thought to be living in poverty.

In fact, there are 108 neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester where more than half of children are estimated to be living below the breadline*

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Public Health England - Child health statistics

Recent decades have seen overall improvements in babies born with a low birthweight, infant deaths, child development and dental health. However, in the years leading up to the coronavirus pandemic improvements in these indicators had slowed. In addition, there has been little change in the prevalence of obesity in children aged 4 to 5 (9.9% in 2019 to 2020) and an increase in children aged 10 to 11 years (from 18.7% in 2009 to 2010 to 21.0% in 2019 to 2020).

Wide inequalities are apparent across all indicators of child health presented. In 2019, in the most deprived areas, the proportion of term babies with a low birthweight, the infant mortality rate and the prevalence of obesity in children aged 4 to 5 and 10 to 11 years was more than double the least deprived. In 2018 to 2019, 23.4% of children aged 5 years had dental decay, and the prevalence was almost 4 times higher in most deprived areas than in the least deprived areas. For those indicators with data available by ethnicity (low birthweight, infant deaths, dental decay, obesity) inequalities by ethnic group are present.

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Marmot review

The Marmot review in 2010 looked in to health inequalities in England and a follow up report 10 years later by the Institute of Health Equity has found that :

  • There is a strong relationship between deprivation measured at the small area level and healthy life expectancy at birth. The poorer the area, the worse the health.
  • There is a social gradient in the proportion of life spent in ill health, with those in poorer areas spending more of their shorter lives in ill health.
  • Healthy life expectancy has declined for women since 2010 and the percentage of life spent in ill health has increased for men and women.

One of the key objectives from the 2010 report is to give every child the best start in life. The review states that :

  • Since 2010, progress has been made in early years development, as measured by children’s readiness for school. Clear socioeconomic inequalities persist, with a graded relationship between these measures and level of deprivation.
  • For low-income children, levels of good development are higher in more deprived areas than in less deprived areas.
  • Rates of child poverty, a critical measure for early child development, have increased since 2010/11 with over four million children affected.
  • Child poverty rates are highest for children living in workless families - in excess of 70 percent.
  • Funding for Sure Start and Children’s Centres, and other children’s services, has been cut significantly, particularly in more deprived areas.
  • More deprived areas have lost more funding for children and youth services than less deprived areas, even as need has increased.
  • There are still low rates of pay and a low level of qualification required in the childcare workforce.
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NHS Missed Appointments

Around 1 in 10 hospital outpatients appointments are missed** which means that as the NHS struggles with budget cuts, soaring demand and staff shortages almost £1 billion is being wasted annually***

The average missed Outpatients appointment costs the NHS £160, below are the costs for missed paediatric appointments :

Recent research has shown that missed appointments cost the Royal Oldham hospital at least £2.7million a year, based on figures which show that 13% of patients failed to attend their appointment at the hospital. Figures show that 22,158 patients missed their appointment from a total of 120,133 available clinic slots.

These figures highlight a waste of resources and clinic appointments, which could be used to reduce waiting times for other patients. That’s why the hospital is urging patients to cancel or rearrange their appointment if they are unable to attend.

Many families struggle to attend vital medical appointments with their children which is where Transport for Sick Children can help. Our mission is to reduce stress and barriers to a family by enabling children to attend medical appointments despite any transport, financial or social issues they have.

Sources :

*MEN online

**NHS England

***The Guardian online