Demographics and community
Organisations need to plan for a growing, changing and increasingly diverse population. The city has experienced a high rate of population growth in recent years, particularly amongst 18-29 year olds. However, the growth of over-65s is expected to accelerate and outpace other groups within 10-15 years. As the city grows, it is also becoming increasingly diverse. This is fuelled by births and international migration. In schools, nearly half of Coventry pupils are from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
Although the city is cohesive, people do not feel they have influence over local decisions. The city’s diversity and cohesion are assets to Coventry. People from different backgrounds report that they mix and get on well with one another. More emphasis on increasing participation will reduce barriers to cohesion.
Employment and skills have continued to increase, particularly in highly skilled jobs. Employment has increased and unemployment has reduced. The city's advanced manufacturing sector is growing, helped by the increase in the city’s working age population that is highly skilled and highly qualified. Education standards have also increased, with 94% of primary and 74% of secondary students attending a good/outstanding school; and fewer young people not in education, employment or training.
However, significant pockets of deprivation limit people’s opportunities to succeed in life . Nearly 19% of Coventry neighbourhoods are amongst the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods in England. 10% of the population has no qualifications at all, limiting their ability to gain better paid employment in the city. To transform life chances in these areas and thereby increasing everybody’s opportunity to succeed in life requires ensuring every child achieves a good level of development by the age of five. This is because social inequalities are already established from the early years of life.
The vast majority of people are satisfied with their local area as a place to live. Most people live within walking distance of a general/grocery shop, public transport links, parks, pubs, GP surgery/health centre, or a place of worship, providing opportunities to socialise, exercise and enjoy their lives. However, this masks pockets of dissatisfaction which could be further explored through a more detailed understanding of local needs. The place-based JSNA profiles will explore these in more detail, for instance, addressing issues around access and affordability of housing; and local air quality.
Increasing fear of crime impacts on local residents’ health and wellbeing. Violent crime has increased, reflecting the national trend. The coverage in the media and social media impacts on residents’ perceptions of safety, which, in turn, affects people’s mental wellbeing. Consideration should be given to increasing social media presence to communicate with communities, with families and young people in particular.
Health and wellbeing
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 shorter lives in poor health than those living in less deprived parts of the city. However, focusing solely on the most deprived areas is ineffective and may stigmatise people. Making things fairer requires improving the health of all social groups, in a way that reflects each group’s assets and needs. This is called a “social gradient” approach. Examples of where a social gradient approach can be adopted include hospital accident and emergency, where vulnerable groups are more likely to be users of emergency admitted care services, and less likely to take up vaccinations and screening services.
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; pooling engagement resources and building capacity.
Demographics and community
Harnessing the city’s growth and diversity.
- The city must be prepared for a growing, changing and increasingly diverse population.
- With the anticipated growth in older people, there is a need to focus on preventative health amongst the working age population.
- As population growth is concentrated in certain parts of the city, access to services should be reviewed.
- The city’s rich community assets can help address specific needs related to newly arrived communities.
- Increasing participation and involvement will help maintain cohesion and reduce radicalisation and extremism.
Helping people to access opportunities and thrive.
- Good growth in the city has created many well-paid jobs. There is a need to address skills shortages – from raising aspirations amongst schoolchildren to retaining skilled professionals and graduates in the city.
- As a person’s lifelong health, happiness and productivity in society are influenced by their early years, continued investment into early identification and intervention is critical.
- Young people’s aspirations may be raised by improving their awareness of the significant and growing opportunities in highly paid jobs available in the city, which require people with the right skills and qualifications.
- Organisations working together can help to address poverty and its impacts, and to ensure inclusive growth for the city’s most vulnerable residents.
Connected, safe and sustainable communities.
- A more detailed understanding of local needs should be developed through the place-based JSNA profiles, to address pockets of dissatisfaction with local neighbourhoods, and issues such as access and affordability of housing and local air quality.
- Perceptions of safety should be addressed through a partnership approach.
- Partners in the city should make better use of social media, which is how an increasing number of families and young people obtain and consume news and information.
- A joined-up approach is essential for tackling the city’s homelessness and rough sleeping problem, recognising the intersection of severe and multiple disadvantages faced by people.
- Partners should look to provide more opportunities for people to shape services, including involving people with lived experiences.
- The city should champion the emerging public health approach to tackling knife crime.
Health and wellbeing
Healthy and independent for longer.
- As life expectancy is below average and health outcomes are worse in more deprived areas, a targeted approach of appropriate support to each group is essential to improve health and wellbeing for all groups.
- Further investigation at a locality level as to whether avoidable differences in health are widening – and the reasons for it – will help identify local priorities.
- In line with the shift to focus onto prevention, a community-informed and culturally competent approach is essential to increasing screening and vaccination rates.
- The city’s rates to emergency admitted care services appear high especially for some vulnerable groups, and further investigation will help determine how much of this is down to admission thresholds.
- Further work is required at a local level, through the place-based profiles, to understand the city’s avoidable differences in health outcomes, particularly around issues such as alcohol use, obesity/physical activity, Tuberculosis, sexual health (including HIV) – and the consequential impacts on the demand for health and care services.
Working together in our places and with our communities.
Health is determined by people’s social circumstances such as their communities, prospects and environment; and similarly, this approach to addressing and improving these circumstances must also be rooted in local people and communities. Growing this capacity in the communities require improving connectivity. This can be done by:
- distributing leadership – valuing the community leaders that are already working in this space as they have the trust, networks, understanding and legitimacy, and getting behind existing partnerships;
- joining forces – getting the public sector to work together by pooling resources to build capacity and connections, investing resources to enable communities to maximise social action;
- grassroots activities – making social action activities across the different sectors more visible; and
- forging links – building links and generating connectivity by helping partners and communities share what they do, and helping them learn from, and build partnerships, with each other.
InsightAddress: PO Box 15