SERIOUS health challenges existing in coastal towns must be tackled by the Government or they will “get worse”, Professor Chris Whitty has said.

England’s chief medical officer has recommended a cross-government national strategy to improve the health and wellbeing of coastal communities as part of his 2021 Annual Report.

The report found those living in coastal communities face lower life expectancies and higher rates of many major diseases compared to people in inland areas.

In light of the report, Tendring Council has confirmed it is aware of health inequalities across the district.

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Mr Whitty’s report, Health in Coastal Communities, found seaside areas have just under 15 per cent fewer postgraduate medical trainees, 15 per cent fewer consultants and seven per cent fewer nurses per patient than the national average.

It was also noted coastal towns have an oversupply of cheap guest housing and houses of multiple occupation which encourages the migration of vulnerable people.

Other findings include older citizens with increasing health problems often settle in coastal regions.

Lynda McWilliams, Tendring councillor responsible for partnerships, said the authority was aware of health inequalities in the district.

She said: “Recognising the health profile of Tendring, we established our own Health and Wellbeing Board some years ago to bring in partner organisations to work together to set priorities and tackle health issues, and now also play an active part in the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance too.”

“We have been involved in and supported a wide range of projects which directly try to improve health outcomes for residents.

“In addition we are also part of the livewell campaign promoting healthy living in Tendring and across Essex.

“Working together with our partners, including the voluntary sector, we are moving forwards to tackle health inequalities and welcome this report for throwing further light on the topic.

“There is never a quick fix when it comes to health, where we often need to change cultures which promote bad health into good ones, and we will continue to work in this area.”