Housing (health and wellbeing needs in South Tyneside)

Key issues

  • Over the last 5 financial years (2011 / 12 - 2015 / 16) there has been an average of 274 households who have been accepted as homeless and in priority need, which is an average of 4 households per 1,000. This level of acceptances is significantly higher than the regional and national rates. Notwithstanding this, there is a very low number of households that are placed in temporary accommodation; with a rate of 0.096 per 1,000 households over this period is significantly lower than the national average. Households being placed in temporary accommodation for long periods of time can have a detrimental impact on residents' health, especially more vulnerable households.
  • South Tyneside, along with the other Local Authorities of the North East, undertook a health audit with homeless households. These results will inform the service provision that may be required for these households for future. This audit highlighted some noteworthy results, with respondents being less likely to have visited their GP in the last six months, but significantly more individuals have accessed A&E services (44%) or have been admitted to hospital (24%).
  • Those who answered the questions in the health audit were much more likely to smoke (84%), and suffer from stress, feeling anxious and feeling depressed. The vast majority (93%) stated that they had a formal diagnosis for depression. In additional, there were 43% of these people who also stated that they have received a dual diagnosis, including mental health and drug or alcohol issues. Over half of respondents stated that they self-medicate to help address their mental health issues.
  • These individuals were significantly less likely to have received vaccinations, screening or accessing any other prevention services.