JSNA Healthy People

Data in this summary is correct as at July 2022

Healthy People

Our health is one of the most important assets we have as individuals, communities, and society. Health is a state of physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and can be different for different people. For example, for one person, the most important thing for their health might be whether they are able to spend time with those they love. For another, it might be their ability to work and support their family. Summary statistics can help us describe key aspects of health across different life stages within our communities and population on the Isle of Wight.

Local public health teams work in collaboration with other organisations to:

  • empower people to take control of their own health,
  • reduce health inequalities,
  • to prevent people experiencing ill health.

This information focuses on:

  • the health outcomes of our population,
  • the health inequalities which are evident,
  • and the potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Data in this summary is correct as at July 2022. The data can be explored further by smaller geographies in the JSNA Healthy People data report.  

Healthy People – Isle of Wight data summary

Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy

The Isle of Wight’s general population health is similar to that observed in England as a whole. The latest life expectancy figures published for the Isle of Wight (2018 to 2020) are similar to the national average. It is 79.6 years for men (0.2 years longer) and 83.4 years for women (0.3 years longer). Life expectancy across the Isle of Wight has remained constant over the past decade, and improvements have slowed. This has been particularly noticeable for women and men living in the more deprived areas of the Island.

Over the last five years, healthy life expectancy at birth had been decreasing for both males and females resident on the Isle of Wight. It was significantly below the national average for the three year period 2017 to 2019. The most recent data available, 2018 to 2020 suggests a small improvement for both males and females.


Across the Isle of Wight, just under 33,000 residents have two or more long-term conditions. This equates to almost one in four people (23.1%). Deprivation may explain some of the variation across the Island. Age is also likely to be a significant contributing factor. The 2021 Census reported that almost 30% of the population on the Isle of Wight are aged 65 years and over.

On the Isle of Wight, a total of 1,169 children and young people aged under 20 have at least one long-term condition. This is a rate of 0.86 per 100,000 population aged under 20 years. Of these, 2.6% (n=30) have two long-term conditions.

Mental health and wellbeing


Evidence shows that the impact on mental health and wellbeing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been different for different groups of people. Also different during the different waves. Long-term distress was highest among:

  • younger people,
  • women,
  • people living without a partner,
  • people who had no work or lost income,
  • people with previous health conditions or COVID-19 symptoms.

The Island is particularly vulnerable to poorer health outcomes due to its coastal nature. These vary across a range of physical and mental health conditions due to its coastal nature. The general pattern of mental wellbeing vulnerability across the Isle of Wight shows that those living in the urban areas of the Island, such as Cowes, Newport, Ryde and the Bay, are more likely to be vulnerable to these poorer outcomes. There is also a pocket of vulnerability in West Wight, a less densely populated urban area. The 2021-2022 Annual Report of the Director of Public Health focussed on the local impact of COVID-19 on the Isle of Wight’s population in relation to mental health and wellbeing. The report is available from the Isle of Wight Council’s Public Health Service.

Common Mental Health Disorders

Common mental disorders (CMDs) comprise different types of depression and anxiety. In 2021, 17.4% of children aged 6 to 16 years had a probable mental disorder; this is a marked increase from 11.6% in 2017. For boys, the prevalence was 18.6% in 2021, up from 12.4% For girls, the prevalence was 16.2% up from 10.9%. Probable mental health disorder prevalence in young women aged 17 to 19 years has increased significantly from 13.4% in 2017 to 24.8% in 2021. There was a smaller increase observed in young males (7.0% to 10.3%). For those aged 20 to 22, 19.1% had a probable mental disorder.

In England, in any given week, around one in six reported experiencing a CMD. This included any type of anxiety or depression. Women were more likely than men to have reported CMD symptoms. The most reported mental health problem for both males and females was anxiety and depression. There are a little over 14,200 patients on the Isle of Wight aged 18 and over who have depression recorded on their practice disease register. The prevalence of depression on the Isle of Wight in 2019/20 was 11.7%. This is lower than the England prevalence of 12.3%, but this has been increasing over the last nine years.

Severe Mental Illness

Severe mental illness (SMI) refers to people with psychological problems. The illnesses are often so debilitating that they severely impair the person’s ability to engage in functional and occupational activities. Schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and other psychoses are included under SMI. The NHS Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) records the number of patients with SMI registered with a GP practice. Nationally the prevalence of SMI is 0.95% for all ages. Across the Isle of Wight prevalence is higher at 1.19%. This equates to a little under 1,730 people across the Island. There is some small area variation with areas around Ventnor, Newport, Sandown and Ryde having higher numbers of residents with SMI.



Long COVID is currently defined as people who suffer with poor health for 12 weeks or more beyond the initial acute phase of infection. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimate that around one in five people testing positive for COVID-19 exhibit symptoms for five weeks or longer and around one in ten for 12 weeks or longer. The prevalence of self-reported long COVID is greatest in:

  • people aged 35 to 49 years;
  • females,
  • people living in more deprived areas;
  • those working in teaching and education; social care or health care (likely reflecting increased exposure to COVID-19 infection in these sectors);
  • and those with another activity-limiting health condition or disability.

Across the Island, local data supports the national findings with working age women, especially those aged 45 to 64, most likely to require on-going support with their health after contracting COVID-19.

Excess Mortality

Excess mortality provides an understanding of the impact of COVID-19 during the course of the pandemic and beyond. Up to 2 September 2022, there had been 464 deaths on the Isle of Wight where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Inequalities from the severe outcomes of COVID-19 are evident by gender, age, ethnic group, socio-economic group, and deprivation.

Population Groups


The 2011 Census reported that just over 16,400 people resident on the Isle of Wight provided some form of unpaid care, equating to approximately one in ten of the total population. A little over 4,100 residents provided 50 hours or more unpaid care a week on the Island. Just over 700 (4.3%) of those providing unpaid care were young people aged 16 to 24 years and a further 302 (1.8%) were aged under 16 years. One quarter of these young carers provided 20 hours or more of unpaid care.

Unpaid carers are more than twice as likely to suffer from poor health compared to people without caring responsibilities. A national survey of carers found that many stated caring had a negative impact on their physical health (83%) and mental health (87%) and 39% had put off medical treatment as a result of their caring responsibilities.

People with learning disabilities

People with learning disabilities often have different and complex health care needs leading to increased prescribing and polypharmacy. They also have a higher prevalence of depression, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.

The number of people on the GP learning disability register on the Isle of Wight has increased slightly in 2020/21 when compared to the previous year. However as a percentage of the population, levels have remained stable with 0.7% of the population (1,044 people) across the Isle of Wight registered with a learning disability. This is higher than the proportion recorded nationally (0.5%). Comparing the GP learning disability registered number to this estimated number suggest only 38.3% of adults with a learning disability have been identified on the Isle of Wight.

The 2018 Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) found that the median age at death for people with learning disabilities (aged 4 years and over) was 60 years for males and 59 years for females. This highlights the disparity in the age at death between people with learning disabilities and the general population of 23 years for males and 27 years for females.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

Special educational needs (SEN) is a legal definition. It refers to children with learning problems or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children the same age.  A child can receive SEN support in school, such as speech therapy. A child may need an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) if they need more support than their school provides. Nationally in 2021/22, there were just under 1.5 million pupils in England who had SEN, this number increased by 77,000 from the previous year. Similar to the national trend, the number of children and young people with a current statement or EHCP maintained by the Isle of Wight Council is increasing year on year. As at March 2022, there were just over 1,400 children with a statement or EHCP. This equates to a crude rate of 40 children per 1,000 aged 0 to 25 years per population.

Around three quarters of statements or EHCPs on the Isle of Wight are for boys, and trend data suggests this is consistent over the years. The number of plans or statements for boys is increasing at a greater rate than girls. There is 60.5% increase for boys from 2015/16 to 2021/22 compared to a 48.0% increase for girls over the same time period.

Inclusion Health Groups

Inclusion Health Groups is a ‘catch-all’ term used to describe people who are socially excluded, typically experience multiple overlapping risk factors for poor health (such as poverty, violence and complex trauma), experience stigma and discrimination, and are not consistently accounted for in electronic records (such as healthcare databases). These experiences frequently lead to barriers in accessing healthcare. People belonging to inclusion health groups frequently suffer from multiple health issues, which can include mental and physical ill health and substance dependence issues. These factors lead to extremely poor health outcomes, often much worse than the general population, lower average age of death, and it contributes considerably to increasing health inequalities

Older adults

Older people have higher rates of multimorbidity and health conditions, and in addition are also more likely to suffer from conditions which are associated with ageing. This section looks at frailty, reduced mobility, urinary incontinence, sensory impairment, falls, and dementia. During the pandemic, many older people may have been shielding and unable to get out and about, or simply have reduced activities during periods of social distancing restrictions. This may have resulted in deconditioning. Deconditioning is the syndrome of ‘physical, psychological and functional decline that occurs as a result of prolonged inactivity and associated loss of muscle strength’.


Frailty describes someone’s overall resilience and ability to recover quickly from health problems. It mainly occurs in older patients and is linked to the ageing process, frailty can also occur in younger adults who experience multiple health conditions and there is emerging evidence that frailty risk increases in people who are obese, particularly where there are other unhealthy behaviours such as inactivity, poor diet and smoking. Research suggests that there are around 4,594 people on the Isle of Wight with moderate or severe frailty.

Reduced mobility:

Closely linked to frailty is reduced mobility. Many older people suffer from reduced mobility, meaning that they are unable to walk as far or for as long, or complete household chores. Research suggests on the Isle of Wight there are a little over 7,400 older people with reduced mobility resident on the Island.

Urinary Incontinence (UI):

There is still a significant knowledge gap around incontinence, however this condition could have the third most serious impact on quality of life after stroke and dementia. Research also suggests that UI is a predicting factor for moving into a care home and some psychological conditions such as social isolation. It is estimated that on the Isle of Wight nearly 10,500 people over the aged of 65 experience UI. As with frailty there are also pockets across the Island where the proportion of the population is older and we would expect numbers of people experiencing UI is estimated to be higher, again concentrated in Freshwater Yar and Bembridge.

Sensory Impairment:

Age-related hearing loss is the gradual loss of hearing in both ears and is common in older people. Estimates suggest that around 71% of people aged 70 and over have hearing loss. Hearing loss is associated with an increase in other chronic health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, sight loss and falls. Estimates suggests that around 3,700 people experience severe hearing loss whilst over 29,660 people aged over 65 experience some hearing loss, on the Isle of Wight.

Sight impairment is another condition which increases with age. There are a number of main causes of sight loss including: age related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic complications. Estimations for the Isle of Wight population suggests that over 3,500 people are experiencing sight loss, with an increase in prevalence in those areas with a higher proportion of older people.


Dementia is a collection of symptoms which include memory loss, mood changes, and problems with reasoning, perception and communication. Overall, on the Isle of Wight there are 1,649 cases of dementia recorded in 2020. However not all cases of dementia are diagnosed. When applying survey findings to local population estimates the number of cases of dementia on the Island is estimated to be much higher at around 2,814.


People are at increased risk of falling as they get older, and at increased risk of these falls causing more serious injury, including bone fracture. Falls are one of the most common reasons for hospital stays in older adults. Falls or fear of falling can result in loss of confidence and activity in older people. Across the Isle of Wight, the number of people experiencing a fall in the previous 12 months is estimated to be just over 10,800. Those areas with a higher proportion of older people have higher numbers experiencing falls.

In 2020/21, the rate of emergency hospitalisations after falls in England for those aged 65 and over was 2,023 per 100,000. This rate increases to 5,174 for those aged 80 and over. On the Isle of Wight the rates are statistically significantly lower at 1,319 and 3,288 respectively. Nationally and locally, women show a higher rate of admissions than men. This difference between men and women is significant at England and Isle of Wight level.

Healthy People - Full Report