Bournemouth East covers a diverse population. Some neighbourhoods within the locality are classified as being amongst the most deprived in the South West of England whilst other areas -especially towards the east of the locality - comprise a more affluent and older population.
Overall, Bournemouth East has the second highest percentage of people living in income deprived households of all 13 Dorset localities. There are several challenges that contribute to the longer-term development of health problems in the locality, including poor housing, overcrowding and a higher proportion of people living with limiting long-term illness or disability.
The west of the locality has had many Houses of Multiple Occupation developed over the past twenty to thirty years, at the lowest end of the housing market. This has meant the area is one of the more affordable places for people to live who have long standing health issues, including addiction and mental health conditions. In some cases, this makes provision of primary care services more challenging. In addition, the area has a higher proportion of families and workers employed in the service industry who may not have English as their first language, which also raises access issues at times.
For practices with an older average population, particularly those based in the east of the locality, the provision of primary and community services to the frail and elderly population is an important issue. Emergency hospital admissions for hip fractures in those aged 65 and over are significantly higher than the England average and are the highest of all 13 Dorset localities, so understanding how best to provide prevention-oriented support in advance of these acute events, working with partners, is important.
As many of these challenges are complex and interdependent, the Council and stakeholders established a regeneration partnership board to look at increasing the impact of work to tackle housing, education, crime, employment, environment and health issues. The Boscombe Health Theme Group has existed for the past four years as a sub-group to help drive improvements in health and wellbeing in the area. The Boscombe Commitment 2015 document provides further details on the identified actions being carried out to reduce the gap in health and wellbeing in the area.