In February the Department of Health published the 2017 sub-regional report on health inequalities within Health & Social Care (HSC) Trust and Local Government District (LGD) areas within the north of Ireland.
This biennial publication is one of a series of reports produced as part of the NI Health & Social Care Inequalities Monitoring System (HSCIMS) and follows on from the Health Inequalities – Regional Report 2016 which presented analysis at the regional level.
This report provides an up-to-date picture of health inequalities within HSC Trusts and LGDs in relation to area differences in morbidity, mortality, utilisation and access to health and social services.
- health outcomes are generally worse in the most deprived areas within each Trust/LGD when compared with those seen in the Trust/LGD as a whole. Large differences (health inequality gaps) continue to exist for a number of different health measures
- male life expectancy increased across the period in all Trust areas and Local Government Districts (LGDs), with the exception of Antrim & Newtownabbey LGD, where it remained similar
- female life expectancy also increased across the period in all Trust areas and in approximately half of the LGDs, while remaining broadly constant in the remainder
- over the period analysed, a larger number of indicators for each HSC Trust, saw widening inequality gaps than those where gaps had narrowed. This was also true for the majority of LGDs with the exception of Fermanagh and Omagh, Mid Ulster and Mid and East Antrim
- as seen regionally, deprivation related inequality was most evident in indicators relating to alcohol and drug use, suicide/self-harm and teenage births
- deprivation gaps relating to alcohol related admissions were among the most notable in all LGDs, ranging from 46% to 118% higher in deprived areas than across the sub-region
- similarly, drug admission rate inequality gaps were among the five largest gaps for the majority of sub-regions, with the exception of the South Eastern Trust and Lisburn & Castlereagh LGD, where the gaps were still relatively wide
- alcohol related admission and deaths rates both showed narrowing inequality gaps in around half of the sub-regions analysed, but in many instances these gaps remained large
- the inequality gaps for, either self-harm admissions and/or suicide were among the largest inequality gaps in every LGD area
- the teenage birth rate for the most deprived areas within each of the Trusts was at least twice that in the overall Trust itself