With the reference to a local case study, assess the relative importance for age, gender and wealth
for the provision of healthcare (15)
Audley is an inner city ward of Blackburn, Lancashire with a population of 9183 according to the
2011 census. It is a largely deprived area and has a youthful population. As it has a large Muslim
South Asian community it also attracts male immigration which leads to a slightly disproportionate
Audley has a youthful population; 34.7% of its residents are aged 0-19 and only 114 residents aged
over 85. The first way in which this has an impact on health provision is the way in which Blackburn
council must focus more on preventative healthcare strategies, such as exercise facilities and
vaccinations, as opposed to demands for an ageing population. Of those aged 16-49 there are still
4.8% of the population who regard themselves as in ‘very bad health’ on the census which is nearly
double the national average of 2.8%. To tackle the health problems prevalent in the area such as
obesity, C.H.D and type 2 diabetes, a multi-disciplinary approach to health care provision is in place.
Part funded by the national lottery, change 4 life and the Primary Care Trust, Blackburn Council have
introduced a ‘Re:Fresh’ scheme which targets families on low income backgrounds to have better
access to exercise and keep fit classes. These are particularly focussed on the young population; for
example ‘judo lessons’ at the community centres and ‘2 mile runs’ around Ewood Park.
Gender has a particularly important role in healthcare provision in Audley, predominantly because of
the large Muslim population (2/3rds). Firstly, the ‘Re:Shape’ scheme, funded by Blackburn Council
and Bolton University, was set up in order to provide the women with ‘female only gyms’. These
allowed women to remove their Burqas without being seen by non-familial men and exercise in
order to reduce the risk of C.H.D and type 2 diabetes and in an effort to match the women of
Audley’s life expectancy with that of the national average.
Moreover, there has been a resurgence of rickets within the Audley community, 56 cases in
Blackburn last year alone – most of which were in the Audley ward, which is directly related to
women wearing burqas and not being exposed to enough sunlight. Therefore, the local GP branches
were directed to offer free supplementary vitamin D tablets to women and children in the Audley
ward to tackle this problem which was a scheme managed by the primary care trusts.
Similarly, pregnant women are particularly targeted, especially as the infant mortality rate in Audley
is 7.5 per 100,000 compared with the national average of 4.3 per 100,000. This stat, alongside the
high birth rates, means that Audley Health Centre is funded to offer vaccinations for babies as well
as continued support from your midwife after birth.
Finally, wealth has a hugely important part to play in the health care provision in Audley. As it is a
deprived area,30% live in socially rented housing compared with less than 10% as the national
average, the Re:Fresh scheme (referred to above) offer free exercise classes for those from low
income backgrounds. They offer a Re:Fresh card which can give residents of all ages, ethnicities and
health levels access to an array of gyms and classes to help prevent poor health in the later stages of