Leeds Council Unveils Plans to Address Disparities in Adult Social Care

Leeds Civic Hall

Leeds Council Unveils Ambitious Plans to Address Disparities in Adult Social Care Amid Concerns Over Varying Life Expectancies

Leeds City Council has announced a comprehensive three-year plan aimed at bolstering adult social care services, citing stark discrepancies in life expectancies across different areas of the city.

The council’s recently released Adult Social Care Plan report highlights the need to tackle widening health inequalities and provide support for an aging population. According to figures within the report, there exists a significant disparity in average life expectancy, with inner-city districts such as Burmantofts and Richmond Hill experiencing markedly lower life expectancies compared to more affluent areas like Adel and Wharfedale.

Rising levels of poverty have exacerbated these disparities, with an estimated 186,000 residents in Leeds now residing in the top ten percent of deprived neighborhoods nationally—a surge of 20,000 since 2015.

The report grimly notes, “Health inequalities have become worse in Leeds,” illustrating the stark contrast in life expectancies across the city. For instance, life expectancy ranges from 72 for men and 74.3 for women in Burmantofts and Richmond Hill, to 83 for men and 88 for women in Adel and Wharfedale.

With a third of the city’s population aged over 50 and over 15 percent aged over 65, projections suggest a staggering 51 percent increase in individuals over 80 by 2043. Additionally, approximately 8,700 people in Leeds are estimated to be living with dementia, with one in six classified as disabled.

Under the mandate of the Care Act 2014, local authorities are obligated to conduct needs assessments to determine the necessary care and support for adults. The report outlines planned improvements up to 2027, including a reduction in waiting times for assessments and efforts to increase the uptake of direct payments, granting individuals greater autonomy over their care provision.

Collaborative initiatives with housing providers are also underway, with the aim of enhancing support for individuals upon discharge from hospital.

In a statement, the council emphasized their commitment to engaging with residents and stakeholders to ensure that adult social care policies are shaped by the needs and experiences of those they serve. They underscored the importance of forging equal partnerships with service users, caregivers, council colleagues, and partners to develop solutions that benefit the community as a whole.

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