Thames Ward has some of the highest rates of health inequality in the country:
- Healthy life expectancy for men in Thames Ward is 57.2 and for women it is 57.1, this is younger than the Borough average by about 18 months and compares even less favourably to London averages by about 4 years.
- 43% of local junior school children leave school clinically obese. Thames Ward is now the 2nd highest ward for this in the borough and has the most obese 11 year olds in the country.
- There are 13.9 cases of domestic abuse per 1000 people in Thames Ward – this is the 2nd highest ward profile in the Borough, and Barking and Dagenham is in the bottom quartile of Borough’s for domestic violence in London.
Barking and Dagenham is the 4th highest scoring local authority for Health inequalities in London. According to the 2020 London Poverty index, residents of Barking and Dagenham are almost twice as likely to be income deprived as other Londoners and the borough also has the highest infant mortality rate of all London boroughs.
Residents have noted that in Thames Ward there is a strong drive by public and private sector agencies to invest in health provision but a lack of equivalent organisation for the voluntary and community sector. As a result, health provision and implementation tend to be top-down with consultants being brought in to talk to residents rather than building the capacity for local people to develop their own health projects.
Health & Wellbeing Citizen Action Group members are adamant that resident-led interventions are what the community needs to create long-term change and have begun to make some progress (see below).