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Level of need in the population

Adults :: Excess winter deaths :: Level of need in the population

Although analysis at a small area level can be problematic, the local picture of who is at risk and why is broadly similar to the national picture. Medway sees highest levels of excess winter mortality (EWM) in the wards of Gillingham South, Watling and Strood North (Figure 1 and Table 1).

Key definitions

EWM is calculated as the number of winter deaths (deaths occurring in December to March) minus the average of non-winter deaths (April to July of the current year and August to November of the previous year) (i.e. EWM = Number of winter deaths - (number of non-winter deaths/2) The Excess Winter Deaths Index (EWD Index), 2006–2009 is the excess of deaths in winter compared with non-winter months from 01.08.2005 to 31.07.2010 expressed as a percentage. The year runs from August to July. Winter months are classified as December to March, Non-Winter months are August to November and April to July.

Figure 1: Medway excess winter mortality by Ward 2005--2009.
Figure 1: Medway excess winter mortality by Ward 2005–2009
Ward/area name 2002/04 2003/05 2004/06 2005/07 2006/08 2007/09 2005/09 Period ratio*
Chatham Central 5.6 12.4 9.5 12.3 12.9 25.0 17.9 13.1
Cuxton and Halling -5.4 7.5 -4.3 0.0 10.8 17.2 15.7 6.8
Gillingham North 11.0 24.4 16.2 16.0 5.8 32.6 23.0 17.9
Gillingham South 16.1 10.2 15.9 27.3 36.2 56.1 40.2 29.3
Hempstead and Wigmore 21.3 41.2 33.3 21.0 17.4 16.8 21.8 21.6
Lordswood and Capstone 0.0 9.2 9.6 4.6 31.4 41.4 21.8 13.0
Luton and Wayfield 12.2 8.2 3.8 23.6 18.2 7.5 8.2 9.7
Peninsula 24.3 29.7 13.7 21.2 20.5 37.5 23.9 24.1
Princes Park 52.0 23.6 0.0 2.0 9.3 10.3 -1.3 16.2
Rainham Central -3.5 -2.5 6.6 2.2 11.9 10.3 10.7 5.2
Rainham North 14.5 22.0 -5.4 4.8 5.5 19.0 13.7 13.9
Rainham South 21.4 19.7 29.1 18.4 15.0 1.1 10.2 14.0
River 6.9 7.5 14.6 26.2 20.0 34.1 28.2 6.6
Rochester East 27.6 37.6 18.2 12.3 8.5 22.7 17.4 21.2
Rochester South and Horsted 3.3 5.3 14.8 21.3 25.4 13.8 18.9 13.3
Rochester West -3.0 2.2 -4.5 2.5 -14.4 3.7 3.9 1.1
Strood North 9.0 42.9 53.8 58.5 29.3 25.0 36.8 25.6
Strood Rural 2.6 -2.4 -8.3 -0.9 19.2 26.0 10.3 7.6
Strood South 17.4 13.1 13.0 0.5 10.0 9.5 6.8 10.7
Twydall 4.0 14.8 27.8 24.8 24.3 9.1 17.4 12.0
Walderslade 37.6 27.3 14.1 10.4 0.8 -1.6 3.7 16.0
Watling 12.7 39.2 63.4 48.9 30.8 33.3 49.0 33.5
Medway 11.4 17.1 15.6 16.9 16.1 19.9 18.3 15.6
Eastern and Coastal Kent 16.7 18.4 18.1 14.7 18.5 17.4 17.4 16.9
West Kent 18.9 18.8 16.0 13.0 14.3 16.3 16.3 17.1
Kent & Medway 16.8 18.4 17.0 14.4 16.6 17.3 17.3 16.8
Table1: Medway excess winter deaths by ward

Figure 2 (below) shows how the excess winter deaths ratio has fluctuated in recent years. As has been alluded to earlier patterns of such death are affected by a range of factors and colder winters will generate fluctuation. Given the data period below however, it is possible that excess winter deaths in Medway have increased.

Figure 2: Trends in Excess Winter Death indices.
Figure 2: Trends in Excess Winter Death indices, 2002/04–2007/09 for Kent and Medway

Housing

As has been noted earlier, cold homes are a risk factor for EWM. For more information on housing, please see Appendices —> Background papers: Lifestyle and wider determinants —> Housing and homelessness

A Housing Stock Survey was undertaken in 2007. In summary, the housing stock in Medway mainly comprises properties, which were built since 1945 (64%). 23% of the stock was built before 1919 and 13% between the wars. Aging properties generally require more work and investment to maintain them in good repair. In addition to this they present a challenge in terms of keeping them hazard free under the new Health and Housing Safety Rating System and meeting the Decent Homes Standard for vulnerable households. Most Medway stock is privately owned.

The Housing Stock Condition survey highlighted a number of issues within the private housing stock in the Medway area and in particular that nearly 20% of homes fail the Decent Homes Standard, the majority doing so due to excess cold.