Community Vulnerability


The Covid-19 pandemic will have far-reaching impacts across Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and the rest of the country. The Public Health Intelligence team want to help colleagues understand the scale of the problem and identify residents most vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 so that we can do our best to support our communities.

This webpage is aid identification of what national and local data tools are available and identify where information is available in the short term. This will continue to develop as we work to building a picture of what we know about our vulnerable residents Pan Dorset.

For guidance on how to navigate around the dashboard below or for information requests relating to localities or community vulnerability please contact the Intelligence Team at

Community Response to Covid-19

The Dorset Explorer has information on the community response to Covid-19. On here you can find information on food banks and information on the Help and Kindness Groups that offer help and supprt during this pandemic. To add the Community Response layer to the Dorset Explorer, select the Layer Control button on the right hand side and scroll down to Community Response section. This adds the location of the groups to the explorer providing a description of the service and their contact details. 

Red Cross Covid-19 Vulnerability Index

The British Red Cross has developed a COVID-19 vulnerability index at Ward and Local Authority level. This covers demographic, clinical, economic and social vulnerabilities as well as other health needs and geographic isolation. The dashboard below looks at this information at MSOA and locality area. There are five indexes in the dashboard. These have been calculated using a similar procedure used in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation. Details of the information sources used can be found in the meta data tab in the dashboard.

Groups more vulnerable to illness and death

  • Age - diagnosic rates increase with age and deaths from COVID-19 have a older age distribution. Among people with a positive test, when compared with those under 40, those who were 80 or older were seventy times more likely to die.
  • Deprivation - People who live in deprived areas have higher diagnosis rates and death rates than those living in less deprived areas especially amongst people of working age
  • Ethnicity - risk of dying higher in BAME groups than in White ethnic group.
  • Occupation - men working as security guards, taxi drivers and chauffeurs, bus and coach drivers, chefs, sales and retail assistants, lower skilled workers in construction and processing plants, men and women working in social care, nursing auxiliaries and assistants had significantly high rates of death from COVID-19.
  • Living in a care home - there has been 2.3 times the number of deaths in care homes than expected from COVID-19 and other causes in England between 20th March and 7th May 2020.
  • Co-morbidities - Among deaths with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate, a higher percentage mentioned diabetes, hypertensive diseases, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and dementia than all cause death certificates.

Source: Public Health England: COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes

Groups more vulnerable to economic & social impacts

  • Vulnerable children
  • Those at risk from domestic violence
  • Residents with poor mental health
  • Those in the private rented sector and on low incomes
  • Local businesses and their supply chains and staff
  • Self-employed and those in the gig economy including seasonal workers