District’s ageing population

NORTH Somerset’s ageing population will put a strain on public transport and medical services - health experts predict.

By 2026, it is thought that one in four people living in the district is likely to be aged over 65, the number of people living alone aged over 75 will increase by 58 per cent and 80 per cent more men will live alone in their later years.

The figures, released as part of NHS North Somerset’s examination of pharmacy needs across the area, show that although life expectancy is likely to increase, people are unlikely to enjoy good health later in life, meaning more medical needs across the district.

A report set to be presented at a meeting of North Somerset Council’s health overview and scrutiny panel meeting this morning (Thurs) said: “The burden of ill health will grow significantly over the coming years.

“As our population profile becomes older the importance of public transport is set to increase.”

North Somerset has the biggest social inequalities gap between its wealthiest and poorest residents in the South West and is ranked 11th in the country.

Some areas in central Weston are in the top two per cent of the most deprived areas in the country, but overall life expectancy in North Somerset is higher than the national average.

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The report added: “A combination of loss of physical mobility for one in four of the over 75s and the fact that some of the rural areas and villages fall into the worst 10 per cent nationally for barriers to housing and services, indicates that for people living in this area, accessibility to services will be particularly important.”

The PCT is in the top quartile nationally for providing intensive support in patients’ homes.