Expanding our work - the case for change

We know from our analysis of evidence from data sources and from our engagement with residents and community organisations that:

  • Coventry has a growing, changing and increasingly diverse population. Whilst population growth has been highest amongst 18-29 year olds, the growth of over-65s is expected to accelerate and outpace other groups within 10-15 years. This means there is a need to focus on preventative health amongst the working age population now to help manage future demand on health and care services. With population growth concentrated in certain parts of the city, there is an increasing imperative to take a place-based approach to service planning.
  • Overall health in the city is below average, with residents living in more deprived parts of the city not only living shorter lives but also spending a greater proportion of their lives in poor health. Males living in some parts of the city can expect to live up to 10 years longer; and for females, the gap is eight years. This difference is linked to a number of inequalities related to poverty. Premature mortality is also higher than average in the city and there are avoidable differences in health outcomes, particularly around issues such as alcohol use, obesity / physical activity, Tuberculosis and sexual health.
  • Despite the city’s comparatively good performance in the areas of education and skills and economic growth, significant pockets of deprivation limit people’s opportunities to succeed in life. 19% of Coventry neighbourhoods are amongst the 10% most deprived nationally and by the age of five, fewer children achieve a good level of development (68%) than nationally (72%) or in similar places, with the more disadvantaged even further behind. We know that social inequalities and life chances are already established from these early years of life.
  • Increasing fear of crime impacts on residents’ health and wellbeing, there is an increase in violent crime (reflecting national trends) and people in the city reporting feeling increasingly unsafe. Most notably nearly a third of young people feel unsafe in the city, with only 16% of the city’s young people saying they felt very safe or safe in the city in 2018.
  • The city has a high level of homelessness, particularly amongst young people and families. This is putting sustained and significant pressures on the local housing system. At any one night in 2017/18, between 190 to 250 Coventry families with dependent children spent the night living in emergency or temporary accommodation. We know that good quality housing for all leads to better health and wellbeing, as it affects early years outcomes, educational achievement, economic prosperity and community safety.

A significant part of the challenge in Coventry, as elsewhere, is to break the link between poor health and poverty.

Community organisations we spoke to told us that communities are best placed to address health challenges. This is because they have networks, understanding and legitimacy. However, their resources are limited and capacity is stretched. The public sector must, therefore, change how it works with communities, by shifting to an ‘enabling’ leadership style, joining forces and building capacity.

More information about the findings from our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.


Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Download the 2019 - 2023 strategy