REPORTS

Broomwood Voice

REPORTS: -
Broomwood Healthy Living Report - 2002

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The 'Healthy Living in Broomwood' Project Community Health Profile Summary of Results


Plans for the Broomwood estate created by residents in partnership with the Local N.H.S. 'Primary Care Trust' and other agencies


The Interviewers


Twelve local people were recruited and trained to carry out the Needs Assessment survey with local people in their homes over a period of six weeks. These twelve Interviewers had input into the design of the survey and also did the piloting.
They received 1-1/2 days training in delivery of the questionnaire and in personal safety awareness.
Initially, random addresses from around the estate were generated and interviewers varied the times they called to ensure an even geographical and demographic spread. 410 questionnaires were returned and analysed.

The Respondents



Each age group was well represented in the results of the questionnaire with an even mix between all ages giving their views.

The ethnic mix was as follows.................Number of respondents
White British:..........................................389
White Irish:...............................................8
Other White:.............................................4
White & Black Caribbean:...............................1
Other Asian:...............................................2
Pakistani:..............................................1
British Vietnamese:.....................................1
Caribbean:................................................1

62% of respondents were female and 38% were male.
42% lived in households with children under 18.
21% acted as a carer for another member of their household with a serious illness or disability.
28% were Housing Association tenants,
39% were Local Authority tenants
29% were owner-occupiers.
37% were working either full-time or part-time
63% were not working.

Health Condition

Respondents suffered from the following health conditions in the previous two years:

Arthritis....34%
Asthma....27%
High blood pressure....27%
Sciatica, lumbago or back pain....26%
Angina....13%
A physical disability....13%
Bronchitis....12%
Diabetes ....8%
Mental health problems....7%
A stroke....4%
A heart attack....4%

And the following in the last year:

Stress....38%
Emotional problems....16%
Anxiety....16%
Nervous trouble....5%


Stress levels were particularly high amongst parents and those not working due to long-term illness.

When asked what could be done to improve their health, if anything, respondents felt the following would be the most beneficial to them:

More exercise....19%
Give up smoking....15%
Nothing....13%
Better diet....9%
Less stress....7%


Access to Health Services




The following proportion of respondents indicated that they had awareness of or access to these services:



99%....GP
74%...Practice Nurse
25%...Health Visitor
23%...District Nurse
7%....Community Psychiatric Nurse
6%....Community Drugs Service
8%....Smoking Cessation Service
15%....Dietician
19%....Family Planning
24%....Chiropody
8%....Alternative therapies
83%....Dentist
73%....Optician
96%....Chemist

What was your experience of using this service?



....................................Positive.....................Negative ..................Mixed

GP.....................................76%..........................7%........................18%
Practice Nurse.........................93%..........................4%.........................4%
Health Visitor.........................76%..........................5%........................19%
District Nurse.........................92%..........................2%.........................6%
Community Psychiatric Nurse............75%..........................6%........................19%
Community Drugs Service................76%..........................0%........................24%
Smoking Cessation Service..............65%..........................6%........................29%
Dietician..............................73%..........................7%........................20%
Family Planning........................93%..........................0%.........................7%
Chiropody..............................86%..........................6%.........................8%
Alternative therapies..................74%.........................11%........................15%
Dentist................................83%..........................9%.........................8%
Optician...............................93%..........................2%.........................5%
Chemist................................93%..........................2%.........................5%

Lifestyles

Respondents took part in physical activity:
Never 15%
Occasionally 45%
Once a week 12%
Most days 16%
Everyday 12%

Despite the fact that 60% only exercised occasionally or never,
62% were happy with their amount of exercise.
Of the 38% who were unhappy with the amount of exercise they took,
25% gave poor health as a reason for not doing more,
42% said it was a lack of time,
10% said it was a lack of motivation,
8% said lack of childcare
and 6% said lack of money.

Of activities wanted, the following were the most popular:

Swimming - 58%
Walking -50%
Aerobics-34%
Cycling-26%
Yoga - 25%
Weights - 23%
Badminton- 16%
Martial arts -12%
Running -12%

65% of respondents did not eat the recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetables and of those who stated their reasons

,
37% disliked them,
24% felt they wouldn't improve their diet,
29% thought they were too expensive
and 23% said they were not available to buy locally.

Smoking


47% of respondents smoked, jumping to 56% for parents and the long-term ill.
71% of smokers had tried and failed to give up in the past with the main reasons given for their lack of success as lack of willpower (74%) with 13% saying the price of patches or other aids led to their lack of success.
39% felt better willpower could help them to give up, whilst 12% felt patches would help and 7% thought it would be beneficial to give up with a friend.
10% didn't know what could help them to give up or cut down and 11 % thought nothing could help.
32% of smokers were unworried about the effects of smoking on their health.
Of those who didn't smoke, 29% lived with a smoker.
73% of respondents drank alcohol.

Employment


The employment mix of respondents was as follows:



Employed full-time- 29%
Employed part-time- 8%
Full-time study- 4%
Long-term sick/disabled- 7%
Retired- 30%
Not working and looking for work-6%
Not working and not looking for work (e.g. looking after children)-6%
18% said their health was affected by their employment status, mostly causing stress, depression, anxiety or they were affected by a lack of money.
54% of those unable to work because of long-term illness said their health had an impact on their relationships with their family and 56% an impact on their relationship with others.
48% of this group suffered stress in the last year.
22% were unsatisfied with their current employment status.

Crime

Opinions on crime were split,


with 14% thinking it was not really a problem,
41% thinking it was a minor problem
and 44% thinking it was a major problem.
Car break-ins were thought to be the biggest problem in the area whilst the crime most respondents had experienced was verbal abuse.

The perception of crime in the area was significantly worse than the levels of crime experienced.

...........................Perceived to be a problem in the area..........Experienced in the last 12 months
Car break-ins..........................30%..............................................12%
Burglary...............................26%...............................................8%
Physical abuse.........................14%...............................................5%
Verbal abuse...........................32%..............................................20%
Racial harassment.......................6%...............................................2%
Mugging................................10%...............................................2%


Although only 2% of respondents overall had suffered from racial harassment in the last 12 months, nearly a third of non White-British respondents had been a victim of racial harassment.

95% of respondents felt safe walking around the estate during the day, dropping to only 36% at night; gangs of youths was the main reason respondents felt unsafe.
33% felt that fear of being a victim of crime effected their health.

Information



48% felt that it was not easy to find out what was going on in the area, suggesting more newsletters or a community noticeboard would improve the situation.
Most got their information about health issues from
their GP (91 %),
Health Clinic (20%),
Hospital (22%)
and from family and friends (34%).


Community Involvement



26% had been involved in community activity of some kind over the last year, mostly with the local school (24%), tenants/residents associations (19%), or the Youth Centre (18%).
32% helped their neighbours with shopping, looking after children, DIY or giving lifts being the main forms of help.

Social Activities



The social events respondents wanted to see more of were:



More social activities for young people-12%
Family events-10%
Dancing-10%
Social events for older people-9%
Social club-7%
Sporting events- 6%

The main barriers to more involvement in social activity were:



Lack of money-37%
Lack of organised events-36%
Lack of time-33%
Lack of transport- 32%
Lack of energy-27%
Poor health-17%
No-one to go with-13%
Lack of childcare-13%


Vulnerable Groups



76% expressed a concern about young people on the estate.


The reasons given were (in order):
Hanging around/gangs-22%
Not enough for them to do/nowhere for them to go-20%
Bad behaviour-26%
Vandalism -10%
Drink/drugs-13%

50% were concerned about older people.



Of those 58% were concerned about their vulnerability or worried that they faced intimidation,
13% were concerned about a lack of activities for older people and
9 % that older people were not appreciated or listened to.

Parents Concerns for their Children



Parents' concerns regarding their children were as follows:
Bullying-62%
Friends who are a bad influence- 47%
Discipline/behavioural problems-34%
Smoking-32%
Drugs-32%
Drinking-23%
Lack of exercise-19%
Diet -16%
Sexual health-12%
Truancy-12%
Pregnancy-10%

25% of parents said they had no concerns.




Transport



49% did not have access to a car or van and of this 49%, 22% were unable to get a lift in an emergency (for example, to hospital).

Dissatisfaction was expressed with transport in the area, particularly with buses:
respondents said it was hard to travel off the estate at all and had difficulties in particular reaching Altrincham, Manchester City centre and activities taking place in the evening.

Most respondents travelled by car to the supermarket, to leisure activities making these destinations problematic for anyone without access to a car.
The service could be improved, it was felt, by increasing the number of evening/night buses and increasing the number of bus routes.

Opinions about the Estate



When asked how the estate was compared to a year ago, respondents replied:


Worse-38%
The same-30%
Better-25%

The reputation of the estate was felt to be:


Negative-46%
Neither positive nor negative-24%
Positive-17%
(Don't know-13%)

76% respondents did not feel they had an influence over decisions made in the area.


However, more positively, 74% indicated that they enjoy living in the area and only 23% said they would move to another area if given the opportunity.

Problems in the Area



When asked what the problems in the area were, respondents replied:



Reputation -65%
Graffiti/Vandalism-63%
Dog mess-52%
Maintenance of communal areas -52%
Traffic-51%
Litter-47%
Uneven pavements-46%
Young people causing a nuisance-43%
Drugs/alcohol-42%
Parking-40%
Nuisance from cats/dogs-34%
Noise nuisance -29%
Discarded syringes-10%

Changes



The most valuable changes were thought to be:


More police officers
Better/more varied local shops
Clean up
More activities for young people
Better transport
More play areas
More security cameras
More parks
Less children hanging around
More organised community events
Community centre

Facilities



The facilities respondents said they would use if it were available were:



Food Co-operative-62%
Community Cafe-52%
Health drop-in -50%
After Schools Club-25%
Walking Bus-17%
Parent toddler group-14%
Breakfast Club -12%
Creche-10%

Conclusion

Although respondents' lifestyles were fairly poor with high levels of smoking, drinking and stress and low levels of exercise and poor diets, they did not seem to be aware of the implications of this and many were under the impression that they were in good health.
This shows there is a lack of understanding about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle.
With the majority of respondents getting their information about health issues either from their GP (who they would normally see only sporadically) or from family and friends. This indicates a need for more general and more accessible information about a wide range of health issues.
Knowledge about what existing health services outside of their GP, Dentist and Chemist were available to them was low.
The other striking finding is how negatively respondents feel Broomwood is viewed by the outside world and how little they feel they can influence decisions made about their estate.
38% thought the estate was getting worse and only 25% thought it was improving.
Fear of crime was high (only 36% felt safe walking around the estate after dark) and a fairly high proportion of respondents had also been a victim of crime over the last 12 months leading to "more police officers" being the most popular change suggested.
There was concern about young people hanging around in gangs and concern for older people who may be intimidated or feel vulnerable.
Transport to and from the estate was thought to be very poor leading to isolation and an inability to access health, leisure and other facilities.
However, the majority of respondents said they would not have wanted to move from the estate if offered a similar property in another area.
This, coupled with a high level of community involvement and good neighbourliness shows a more positive side of the Broomwood.
There were high levels of enthusiasm for suggested activities and facilities that might be beneficial to the overall health and well being of the people of the estate.

End of Report


Last Updated 18/06/2003 and made suitable for web use: www.broomwoodvoice.com for & by Broomwood Community Association .