A report on the health and wellbeing needs of Rugbeians has linked the town’s rapid population growth with difficulties accessing healthcare.
Conducted by Warwickshire County Council, the study was part of the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) - an effort to build up a picture of the needs of residents across the county by creating ‘profiles’ of individual areas.
Cllr Les Caborn, portfolio holder for Health and Social Care, said: “The JSNA is a vital link between councils, the NHS, charities, community groups, schools, emergency services and individual residents who want to help local services be the best they can be.”
North Rugby’s profile uncovered high levels of obesity, breast cancer, mental health problems and a number of difficulties in accessing health services.
The report states: “Rapid population growth through housing, migration and higher birth rates in the area appears to be adding extra pressure on local services.
“Stakeholders highlighted increasing delays in accessing GPs and services at St Cross Hospital.
“Concern was raised around accessing the UHCW site as the main acute hospital site for residents, including issues around the lack of car parking.
“This is magnified by limited access to primary care appointments and anecdotal evidence suggested that people are then using A&E as an alternative.”
A second wave of assessments is underway, including Hillmorton and Bilton and Rugby Town Centre – the latter two grouped together for the study.
The report recommends increasing the provision of services including GP hours, out-of-hours services and improving staffing particularly in the north of the town.
Additionally, the report suggests increasing access to and parking at University Hospital Coventry (UHCW).
It recommends that housing developments take into account the requirement for increased services, adding: “Better use of data/information/intelligence is needed to inform planning, e.g. more school places and GP appointments needed due to housing growth.”
On concerns over homelessness and housing provision, the report states: “There is a lack of affordable housing in the borough despite the rapid developments currently taking place in Rugby.”
It also suggests that the disparity in services between the north and south of the town are addressed.
To see the report in full, visit hwb.warwickshire.gov.uk/jsna-place-based-approach