Wealden district area profile

Introduction

This profile should be used to inform decisions and plans and to identify priorities to improve local people’s health and reduce health inequalities in Wealden.

The profile identifies needs (which may also be referred to or seen as deficits) as well as assets (which may also be referred to or seen as strengths) from key indicators that have been bench marked against the England average.

Causes of premature mortality and inequalities in life expectancy are also presented.

This profile forms part of the East Sussex Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and draws together data and analysis from East Sussex public health reports and various health profiles produced by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. It brings together existing data and analysis, from a variety of sources, at Primary Care Networks (PCNs), district/borough councils and East Sussex levels.


Understanding the data

The geographies

This profile contains data for the Wealden district. Most charts, tables and maps present data at both upper tier and lower tier local authorities. However, some datasets are only available at other geographies (for example some of the primary care datasets are only available by NHS geographies) and so this information will be presented at that level. 

Significance testing

Where possible, data has been benchmarked and compared against England, or in some cases specific targets. Where differences are observed and found to be significant, then this will refer to statistical significance at the 95% confidence level. However, it is important to bear in mind that:

  • where values are based on high counts, even small, possibly unimportant, differences may be statistically significant, and
  • where values are based on low counts, even large, possibly important differences may not be statistically significant.

Rates

Where rates are used, some rates may not be age standardised. If crude rates are reported and the condition mainly affects older people, it is important to also take into account the age profile of the population. Where age standardised rates are presented, then this will be noted in the title of the chart/table.


The district

The geography of Wealden

Wealden is located on the south east coast of England and is in the county of East Sussex. It is a one of five lower tier local authorities (Eastbourne Borough Council, Hastings Borough Council, Lewes District Council, Rother District Council and Wealden District Council). East Sussex County Council is the upper tier local authority. Wealden has a population of approximately 163,000 residents (ONS mid-year estimates, 2022).

Wealden is the largest district/borough in East Sussex, both in terms of physical size and population size. Wealden includes the iconic Seven Sisters coastline, the South Downs National Park and the High Weald area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The main towns in the district include Polegate, Hailsham, Uckfield, Heathfield Crowborough and Wadhurst.

Map 1 shows the district of Wealden and details the major towns and roads within its boundary.

Map 1 Wealden showing the key towns and major roads

Map of East Sussex showing where all the key towns are located, the district and borough boundaries  and the main road networks.

Rural & urban

Within Wealden there are 99 Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs).

Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) are small areas designed to be of a similar population size, with an average of approximately 1,600 residents or 690 households in each LSOA. They were produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for the reporting of small area statistics.

The ONS have classified all LSOAs as either Urban, Rural or Fringe (yet to be updated for 2021 Census data). Wealden has a mixture of urban and rural areas, but the majority (56%) are classified as Urban city and town East Sussex has a mixture of urban and rural areas. Map 2 shows the distribution of the rural and urban areas across the whole county, including Wealden.

Map 2 Urban and rural classification of each LSOA in East Sussex, 2011

Map 2 Urban and rural classification of each LSOA in East Sussex, 2011
  • Chart 1 shows that all of the LSOAs in Eastbourne and Hasting are urban. The other districts within the county have a mixture of rural and urban towns and villages, with Rother having over 50% of its towns and villages classified as rural or fringe.

Chart 1 The population who live in urban or rural areas for each district/borough in East Sussex, 2011

Health and care sites

Within Wealden the health and care infrastructure across the district includes:

  • 2 community hospitals
  • 18 GP practices, 14 Branch practices
  • 28 community pharmacies
  • 60 care homes (April 2024)
  • 10 independent schools, 61 maintained schools (School Census, January 2024)

We have developed an online mapping tool using Tableau which will allow you to select different geographies and health and care settings to create bespoke maps. To access this mapping tool go to the East Sussex Health and Care Tableau Mapping Tool to look at these maps in more detail.

Tableau is a data visualisation tool. For more information about Tableau visit Visualise public data | Explore, learn, share | Tableau Public.

Map 3 An example of the East Sussex Health and Care Tableau Mapping Tool highlighting where the hospitals and pharmacies are across the county

East Sussex Health and Care Tableau Mapping Tool

Map 4 Primary care networks in East Sussex, 2023

Map 4 Primary care networks in East Sussex, 2022

There are 12 Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in East Sussex covering a registered population size of 566,900 (April, 2023). PCNs are groups of GP practices which work together with community, mental health, social care, pharmacy, hospital and voluntary services in their local area. In each PCN there are usually approximately 30,000 to 50,000 patients.

There are no strict geographical boundaries for PCNs as their reach and coverage is based on where each GP’s registered population live. Some patients who live geographically next door to one another may be registered with different GP practices, which in turn may be part of different PCNs, and so there is no obvious geographical border.

However, to show a PCN on a map we have carried out a mapping exercise to try to highlight the geographical areas which contain the majority of patients for each PCN. Map 4 shows the areas where the majority of each PCN’s registered patients live. The different colours on the map represent the different PCN areas. Note that certain PCNs (e.g. ALPS Group) are represented by 2 separate areas on the map. Some areas in East Sussex (mainly on the boarders of the county) show PCNs from outside of East Sussex. This is because the majority of East Sussex residents in those areas are registered with non-East Sussex GP practices, and so belong to non-East Sussex PCNs.

There are 7 PCN footprints that include parts of Wealden district. One PCN (Hailsham) has its footprint fully within the Wealden boundary. 6 PCNs (Greater Wealden, Seaford, High Weald, Greater Wealden, Bexhill, Victoria Eastbourne and East Eastbourne) have footprints that are also part of other East Sussex district and boroughs.

In this area profile, there are tables which show data for all the PCNs within East Sussex (Table 8, Table 16). However, for this Wealden district area profile, any commentary about PCN data will primarily refer to High Weald, Greater Wealden, Hailsham, Eastbourne East, Victoria Eastbourne PCNs.


Population demographics

Deprivation

  • The most deprived areas in Wealden are mainly in Hailsham especially the eastern part and the north west part of Uckfield.
  • Table 1 shows the most deprived quintile has the highest percentage of people aged 0-19 and lowest of those aged 65+ compared to the other quintiles.

Map 5 Areas of deprivation in Wealden showing the LSOAs ranking according to their deprivation quintile, 2019

Map 5 Areas of deprivation in East Sussex showing the LSOAs ranking according to their deprivation quintile, 2019
Table 1 Wealden age profile for deprivation quintiles, 2020
National IMD Quintile 0-4 5-19 20-64 65+
1 = most deprived 20% areas in England 7% 21% 54% 19%
2 5% 15% 54% 26%
3 5% 17% 53% 25%
4 4% 16% 51% 28%
5 = least deprived 20% areas in England 4% 17% 54% 25%

Age structure

  • Wealden has an older population structure compared to England, all age groups aged 55 years and older are higher, especially in those aged 55-79 years of age.
  • Wealden has a lower percentage for younger people than England. This is especially the case in those aged 20 to 39 year olds (both males and females).

Chart 2 Wealden population profile (total population 160,154), 2021

Population pyramid showing each of the 5 year age bands for both males and females in East Sussex compared to England.  East Sussex has a larger percentage of people aged 45+ compared to England.

Population for different age groups

  • Map 6 shows the highest percentage of children aged 0-4 are mainly in Polegate, Hailsham, Hellingly, Horam, Heathfield, parts of Uckfield, parts of Crowborough and Forest Row. 

Map 6 The percentage of children aged 0 to 4 in Wealden LSOAs, 2021

Map 6 The percentage of children aged 0 to 4 in East Sussex LSOAs, 2020

  • Polegate Central, Stone Cross, Upper Dicker, Hellingly, parts of Hailsham, Mayfield, parts of Uckfield and Crowborough have the highest percentage of people aged 5 to 19 (Map 7).

Map 7 The percentage of people aged 5 to 19 in Wealden LSOAs, 2021

Map 7 The percentage of people aged 5 to 19 in East Sussex LSOAs, 2020

  • The highest percentages of working age people are found in parts of the main Wealden towns including Crowborough, Polegate, Uckfield and Hailsham (Map 8).

Map 8 The percentage of people aged 20 to 64 in Wealden LSOAs, 2021

Map 8 The percentage of people aged 20 to 64 in East Sussex LSOAs, 2020

  • The highest percentages of people aged 65+ are found in Crowborough, Polegate and rural areas near Polegate such as South Downs Ward (places like Jevington and Litlington), parts of Hailsham and areas near Hailsham such as Hellingly and near Herstmonceux.

Map 9 The percentage of people aged 65+ in Wealden LSOAs, 2021

Map 9 The percentage of people aged 65+ in East Sussex LSOAs, 2020

Ethnicity

  • Data from the 2021 census shows that Wealden has a percentage (approximately, 92%) of White British and Northern Irish compared to England (approximately, 74%). Other white (3.3%) is by far the largest Ethnic group other than White British or Northern Irish, but lower than East Sussex (4.6%) and England (6.5%).

  • Chart 3 shows a comparison of all other ethnicities in Wealden compared to England and East Sussex.

Chart 3 Ethnic groups other than White British or Northern Irish, 2021

Chart 4 Ethnicity and broad age group in Wealden, 2021

Birth rate

  • There has been a general decline in the live birth rate in East Sussex over the past 5 years (Chart 5), similar to what has been observed in England.
  • In 2020, Wealden has the second lowest birth rate and is below England and East Sussex.

Chart 5 Live birth rate (per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 years) between 2014 and 2020

Live birth rate (per 1,000 women in the age group).

Table 2 shows for Wealden that for most ages groups women’s birth rates were generally lower than England.

The rates for women under 20 years, and 40 years and over, are based on the female population aged 15 to 19 years and 40 to 44 years, respectively. The rates for women of all ages are based on the female population aged 15 to 44 years.

Table 2 Live Birth rate (per 1,000 women in the age group), 2020
Location Under 20 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40 & Over all ages
England 10 45 85 103 60 16 55
East Sussex 10 50 92 104 56 13 53
Eastbourne 15 54 101 107 47 12 54
Hastings 17 68 94 99 50 15 59
Lewes 7 39 88 102 63 13 51
Rother  7 52 90 96 63 15 53
Wealden 6 39 90 110 57 13 51

Population change

  • There is projected to be 9,200 more people living in Wealden in 2026 compared to 2022 which is a 6% increase.
  • The largest population increase projected will be for people aged 65-84 with some 4,000 (10%).
Table 3 Wealden district population projections for 2022 and 2026
  2022 2026 Change % Change
0-17 31,538 32,503 965 3%
18-64 88,896 92,488 3,592 4%
65-84 38,032 42,003 3,971 10%
85+ 6,294 7,007 713 11%
All ages 164,760 174,001 9,241 6%

Wider determinants of health

Housing

  • Wealden has a higher percentage of owner occupied housing (77%) and a lower percentage of privately rented housing (14%) compared to East Sussex.

Chart 6 Dwelling stock by tenure, 2021

  • Chart 7 shows that Wealden overcrowding of households was lower for both socially rented and privately rented households compared with England and Wales.

Chart 7 Overcrowded households in East Sussex by tenure, 2021

Income

  • Wealden average (median) full time earnings are the second highest in East Sussex and just below the average (median) full time in England. 

Chart 8 Resident-based average (median) full time and part time earnings, 2022

Please note: the data for part-time workers for Eastbourne, Lewes, Rother and Wealden was unavailable for 2022 so 2021 data was used.

Employment

Wealden has a similar percentage of working age people in employment (77.0%) compared to East Sussex.

Chart 9 Working age (16 to 64) people in employment, 2020

Education

  • The qualification levels for people in Wealden are broadly in line with England.
  • Wealden has the highest proportion of level 4 (39%) qualifications people compared with other districts or boroughs in East Sussex.

Chart 10 Qualifications of working age population, 2021

Source: ONS Nomis Annual Population Survey: Qualifications of working age population, 2020. Note the data for no qualifications for Lewes district was unavailable for 2020 so 2019 data were used.

The data shown in Chart 10 shows the percentage of people who have “up to” a specific qualification level. For example, 10% of people in England are qualified up to level 1 only, 17% are qualified up to level 2 only, 19 % are qualified up to level 3 only, etc.

The different levels of qualifications are defined as:

  • Level 1: 1+ O level passes, 1+ CSE/GCSE any grades, NVQ level 1, Foundation GNVQ.
  • Level 2: 5+ O level passes, 5+ CSEs (grade 1's), 5+ GCSEs (grades A-C), School Certificate, 1+ A levels/AS levels, NVQ level 2, Intermediate GNVQ.
  • Level 3: 2+ A levels, 4+ AS levels, Higher School Certificate, NVQ level 3, Advanced GNVQ, ONC, OND, BTEC National etc.
  • Level 4 and above: First degree, Higher degree, NVQ levels 4 and 5, HNC, HND, Professional qualifications (for example teaching, nursing, accountancy).
  • Other qualifications: Vocational/Work-related Qualifications, Foreign Qualifications, includes any qualifications not mentioned above.

Crime

  • Wealden has lower rates of total crime (excluding fraud) and violence against the person compared to England and East Sussex.

Chart 11 Total recorded crime and violence against the person, 2022

Loneliness & isolation

  • Those who answered the survey question saying they ‘often or some of the time felt lonely living in your local area’ were slightly lower in Wealden compared to the other areas.
  • The response to this question across all areas when looking at how people answered the survey in previous years is broadly the same with no discernible trend.

Chart 12 Community Survey – Responses to the question “do you ever feel lonely living in your local area?", 2015 to 2019

Environment

  • Domestic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were the largest of the three sectors in 2005 but these emissions have fallen by 41% in 2020.

  • The industrial and commercial sector emissions have continued to fall with a 58% decrease in 2020 compared to 2005.

  • The transport sector of CO2 emissions has had a reduction over the period with a decline of 29% which is the least compared to the other sectors.

Chart 13 CO2 Emissions by sector 2005 to 2020 in East Sussex

  • The reduction of CO2 has been consistent across all districts and boroughs through the years 2005-2020 with a 50% reduction for East Sussex.
  • In 2005 Wealden had 6.3 per capita emissions but by 2020 it has reduced to 3 per capita emissions a (48%) reduction.

Chart 14 Emissions of carbon dioxide per person in East Sussex by district and borough, 2005 to 2020

Access to healthy spaces

Natural England have produced an online map that shows where all the green spaces are within the UK. To access the tool go to Natural England’s Green Infrastructure Map. The mapping tool provides many different layers that can be selected in order to provide a map view of resources of the local area.

Map 10 shows the green and blue spaces in East Sussex, produced using the mapping tool.

Map 10 An extract from Natural England’s mapping tool showing some of the green & blue infrastructure areas in East Sussex

Blue spaces are outdoor environments, either natural or built, that prominently feature water such as streams, ponds, canals and other water bodies.


Life expectancy

Life expectancy

  • Life Expectancy (LE) at birth is higher at an East Sussex level compared to England and higher for females than males. LE was increasing in East Sussex up to around 2012-2014 when it began to plateau. The latest data (2018-2020) estimates that life expectancy for females in East Sussex is 84.1 years and for males 80.1 years.
  • At a lower tier level, for males and females, Wealden has a higher LE compared to East Sussex. The LE in Wealden for males has increased over the period from 78.5 years (2001-2003) to 81.6 years (2018-2020). For females LE has increased over the period from 82.9 years (2001-2003) to 85.0 years (2018-2020).
  • At a small area level (MSOA, latest data 2016-2020) in Wealden for males it is lowest in Hailsham East (76.3 years). The highest is found in Crowborough North East (86.2 years).
  • For females in Wealden the lowest is in Hailsham East (81.9 years). The highest is found in Frant & Groombridge (88.7 years).

Chart 15 Life expectancy between 2001 to 2003 and 2018 to 2020, East Sussex and England

Chart 16 Life expectancy for males: between 2001 to 2003 and 2018 to 2020 by district and borough

Chart 17 Life expectancy for females: between 2001 to 2003 and 2018 to 2020 by district and borough

Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs) are a geographic hierarchy designed to improve the reporting of small area statistics in England and Wales. MSOAs are built from groups of LSOAs. In East Sussex there are 69 MSOAs, each containing on average 8,200 residents.

Map 11 Life expectancy for males, MSOAs 2016-2020

Map showing Life expectancy for males, MSOAs 2015-2019

Map 12 Life expectancy for females, MSOAs 2016-2020

Map of East Sussex showing Life expectancy for females, MSOAs 2015-2019

Gap in life expectancy

  • For males circulatory conditions contribute the most to the gap in LE between the most and least deprived areas in Wealden. The next highest was respiratory conditions.
  • Mental and behavioural contribute the most to the gap in LE for females with the next highest being cancer.

Chart 18 Breakdown of the LE gap (within area) between most and least deprived areas in East Sussex, 2017 to 2019

Healthy life expectancy

  • In the latest time period (2018-2020) healthy life expectancy for males (63.1 years) is the same as for England. However, for females in East Sussex (63.3) it is lower than nationally (63.9) but has increased from a drop in 2017-19 which was the lowest it had been in the last 10 years.

Chart 19 Healthy Life Expectancy at birth, East Sussex and England, between 2009 to 2011 and 2018 to 2020

Leading causes of death

  • Across all ages dementia is the leading cause of death in Wealden followed by ischaemic heart diseases and cerebrovascular diseases.
  • From a premature mortality perspective (deaths in under 75s), the leading cause of death is ischaemic heart disease followed by lung cancer.

Table 5 All ages, leading cause of death (numbers of deaths shown, with cancers broken down), 2022

Table 6 Under 75s, leading cause of death (numbers of deaths shown, with cancers broken down), 2022

Premature mortality (deaths under 75s)

  • Premature mortality is highest in Hastings and Lowest in Wealden. All areas had a decrease in premature mortality in 2022 compared to the previous year.

  • Premature mortality is highest in the most deprived quintile.

  • All quintiles saw a reduction in premature mortality in 2022 compared to the previous year. For quintiles 1, 2 and 4 this decrease was significantly different from the previous year.

Chart 20 Premature mortality (under 75s) from all causes, by district and borough, 2019 to 2022

Chart 20 Premature mortality (under 75s) from all causes, by district and borough, 2019 – 2021

Chart 21 Premature mortality (under 75s) from all causes, rates by national deprivation quintile, 2019 to 2022

Chart 21 Premature mortality (under 75s) from all causes, rates by national deprivation quintile, 2019 - 2021


Disease & poor health

Disability

  • In the 2021 Census Wealden had 27,629 people with a Limited long-term illness. This is projected to increase to 41,598 an increase of 51% by 2035. The highest in East Sussex.
  • The projected overall disability in 2020 was 24,881. This is projected to increase to 34,330 by 2035.

Please note: Disability living allowance (DLA) & Personal Independence Payments (PIP) - all claimants, May 2021.

Table 7 Data on disability for 2020 and the projected numbers for 2035
Illness / Disability East Sussex Eastbourne Hastings Lewes Rother  Wealden
Limited Long-Term illness - 2021 110,553 21,919 20,525 20,342 20,138 27,629
Projected LLTI - 2020 118,510 22,906 21,434 21,084 22,481 30,604
Projected LLTI - 2035 147,795 27,019 25,048 26,073 28,057 41,598
Projected overall disability - 2020 96,597 18,697 17,398 17,184 18,436 24,881
Projected overall disability - 2035 122,427 22,462 20,698 21,578 23,360 34,330
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) (All claimants, August 2022) 35,227 7,682 8,213 6,122 6,020 7,196

Source: East Sussex in Figures. Limited Long-Term illness – 2011 ; Projected LLTI ; Projected overall disability ; Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Quality & Outcomes framework

Table 8 shows extracts from the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) for 2022/23.

Data within the QOF is not aged standardised and so some areas of high or low prevalence may in some part be a result of the age demographics of the area. It is important to understand more about the demography when interpreting this data. Office for Health Improvement and Disparities have produced some National General Practice area profiles for PCNs, which include a “Data View” of the population.

This data can be access via PHEs National General Practice Profiles online Fingertips tool

Table 8 GP reported disease prevalence for each Primary Care Network in East Sussex, 2022/23

Table 8 GP reported disease prevalence for each Primary Care Network in East Sussex, 2019/20

View table 8 as a larger table pdf 106kb

To see what geographical footprints the Primary Care Networks cover see Map 4 in the “Primary Care Network” section of this document.

Obesity

  • Wealden has a lower percentage of children with excess weight compared to England and is significantly better than England for those aged 4-5 years and 10-11 years.

  • Wealden has a significantly higher percentage of overweight or obese adults compared to England.

Table 9 Excess weight and obesity in young people and adults between 2019 and 2022

Table 9 Excess weight and obesity in young people and adults, 2017 - 2020


Health related behaviours

Smoking

  • Wealden has significantly better smoking prevalence compared to England.

Table 11 Smoking prevalence and quit rates between 2019 and 2021

Table 11 Smoking prevalence and quit rates, 2019 - 2021

Alcohol

  • Wealden has significantly better rates of alcohol-related admissions apart from females which is similar to England, and rates of alcohol-specific mortality compared to England.

Table 12 Alcohol between 2017 and 2022

Table 12 Alcohol, 2017 - 2020

Physical activity & healthy eating

  • Wealden is significantly better than England for the percentage of physically inactive adults and the proportion of the population meeting the recommended "5 a day".

  • For all other indicators Wealden is similar when compared to England.

Table 13 Physical activity and healthy eating between 2019 and 2022

Table 13 Physical activity and healthy eating, 2019 - 2021

Sexual health

  • Compared to England, new STI diagnoses (which exclude chlamydia in under 25 year olds) are significantly lower in Wealden.

  • Compared to England, the chlamydia detection rates in people aged 15 to 24 years is significantly worse in Wealden.

Table 14 Sexual health between 2020 and 2022

Table 14 Sexual health, 2020

Drug & Alcohol treatment

  • Wealden has significantly lower rates of adults in drug and/or alcohol treatment and for young people in drug or alcohol treatment.

Table 15 Drug and alcohol treatment between 2020 and 2022

Screening & immunisation

  • Data for immunisation is only presented at East Sussex County level. For all childhood immunisations East Sussex is below the 95% goal for vaccination and significantly below the goal for DTaP and IPV booster in 5 year olds.

  • A significantly higher percentage of 65+ year olds received their seasonal flu vaccination in East Sussex compared to the 75% goal for vaccination cover.

Table 16a Immunisations between 2019 and 2022

Table 16 Screening and immunisations, 2019 - 2021

Table 16b Screening between 2021 and 2022

Table 16 Screening and immunisations, 2019 - 2021

View table 16b as a larger table

  • Greater Wealden, High Weald, Eastbourne East, and Victoria Eastbourne all have a significantly higher percentage of eligible 60-74 year olds screened for bowel cancer. High Weald, Greater Wealden and Eastbourne East also have a significantly higher percentage of 25-49 year olds screened for cervical cancer compared to England.

Health & social care services

Maternity

  • Wealden has a better percentage of mothers breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks, compared to England.
  • Deliveries to teenage mothers are better for Wealden compared to England.

Table 17 Pregnancy and birth between 2017 and 2021

Table 17 Pregnancy and birth, 2017 - 2021

Hospital attendance

  • Residents in Wealden use East Sussex Healthcare Trust (ESHT) the most, but also are more likely than the rest of East Sussex to use Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust as well as elsewhere.
Table 18 Emergency admissions by hospital Trust admitted to, 2022/23
NHS Trust East Sussex Eastbourne Hastings Lewes Rother Wealden
East Sussex Healthcare Trust 70% 93% 94% 26% 87% 52%
University Hospitals Sussex  15% 3% 2% 69% 2% 13%
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells 10% 0% 1% 0% 7% 29%
Elsewhere 4% 4% 3% 4% 4% 6%
 Percent Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Table 19 Elective admissions by hospital Trust admitted to, 2022/23
NHS Trust East Sussex Eastbourne Hastings Lewes Rother Wealden
East Sussex Healthcare Trust 59% 82% 84% 20% 79% 46%
University Hospitals Sussex  19% 6% 5% 63% 4% 14%
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells 5% 0% 0% 0% 4% 15%
Elsewhere 17% 12% 11% 17% 13% 24%
 Percent total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Table 20 First outpatient attendances, 2022/23
NHS Trust East Sussex Eastbourne Hastings Lewes Rother Wealden
East Sussex Healthcare Trust 60% 82% 89% 20% 82% 44%
University Hospitals Sussex  16% 4% 3% 61% 3% 10%
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells 8% 0% 0% 0% 5% 22%
Elsewhere 16% 14% 8% 19% 10% 23%
 Percent total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
Table 21 A&E attendances, 2022/23
NHS Trust East Sussex Eastbourne Hastings Lewes Rother Wealden
East Sussex Healthcare Trust 61% 94% 96% 14% 87% 40%
University Hospitals Sussex  15% 2% 1% 52% 1% 11%
Sussex Community Foundation Trust 15% 1% 0% 31% 2% 28%
Elsewhere 9% 2% 2% 2% 9% 21%
 Percent total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

Hospital activity

  • Wealden has the highest level of hospital activity compared to the other districts and boroughs in East Sussex because it has the largest population. 
  • Numbers of A&E attendances (which includes attendances at Urgent Treatment Centres and Minor Injury Units) are highest in Wealden.

Chart 26 Number of emergency admissions, 12-year trends, for East Sussex districts/boroughs, 2011/12 to 2022/23

Chart 27 Number of elective admissions, 12-year trend for East Sussex districts/boroughs, 2011/12 to 2022/23

Chart 28 Number of first outpatient attendances, 12-year trend for East Sussex districts/boroughs, 2011/12 to 2022/23

Chart 29 Number of A&E attendances, East Sussex districts/boroughs, 2018/19 to 2022/23

Hospital activity - age specific rates & by deprivation

  • In terms of children and young people, rates of emergency admissions and outpatient and A&E attendances are highest in the under 5s and then drop for 5-9 years olds who tend to have the lowest rates across all age bands.
  • Rates are highest across all activity types in older people. For electives and outpatient attendances rates begin to decrease round the age of 80 years, which is generally not the case for urgent care.

Chart 30 Age-specific rates of emergency admissions, 2022/23

Chart 31 Age-specific rates of elective admissions, 2022/23

Chart 32 Age-specific rates of first outpatient attendances, 2022/23

Chart 33 Age-specific rates of A&E attendances, 2022/23

  • There is a clear association of higher emergency admissions with increasing levels of deprivation and a widening of the gap in admission rates between the most and least deprived areas. Historically this was the case with elective admissions and outpatient attendances, although in more recent years this has not necessarily been the case and in 2022/23 all areas experienced similar rates.
  • A&E attendance rates are highest in the most derived quintile followed by the second most deprived quintile, with the rest of East Sussex experiencing similar rates.

Chart 34 Age-standardised rates of emergency admissions by deprivation, 2011/12 to 2022/23

Chart 35 Age-standardised rates of elective admissions by deprivation, 2011/12 to 2022/23


Chart 36 Age-standardised rates of 1st outpatient attendances by deprivation, 2012/13 to 2022/23


Chart 37 Age-standardised rates of A&E attendances by deprivation, 2018/19 to 2022/23

Leading cause of admissions

  • There are differences in the main causes of emergency admissions by age group.
  • Respiratory conditions are the leading cause of emergency admissions in under 5s followed by infectious and parasitic diseases.
  • In children and young people aged 5-19 years the leading cause of emergency admissions is signs, symptoms and abnormal clinical/laboratory findings (very closely followed by injuries due to unintentional or deliberate harm).
  • In adults the leading cause of emergency admissions is signs, symptoms and abnormal clinical/laboratory findings. 
Table 22 Wealden, 0-4 year olds (top 5 causes account for 80% of emergency admissions 2022, 2023)
Top 5 disease/injury causes of emergency admissions Number Percentage
Diseases of the respiratory system 366 31%
Certain infectious and parasitic diseases 214 18%
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified 191 16%
Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period 94 8%
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes 83 7%
Total emergency admissoins for all causes 1179  
Table 23 Wealden, 5-19 year olds (top 5 causes account for 74% of emergency admissions 2022, 2023)
Top 5 disease/injury causes of emergency admissions Number Percentage
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified 306 25%
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes 284 23%
Diseases of the respiratory system 158 13%
Certain infectious and parasitic diseases 87 7%
Diseases of the digestive system 84 7%
Total emergency admissoins for all causes 1248  
Table 24 Wealden, 20-64 year olds (top 5 causes account for 65% of emergency admissions 2022, 2023)
Top 5 disease/injury causes of emergency admissions Number Percentage
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified 1505 25%
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes 828 14%
Diseases of the digestive system 749 12%
Diseases of the respiratory system 449 7%
Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue 406 7%
Total emergency admissoins for all causes 6043  
Table 25 Wealden, 65+ year olds (top 5 causes account for 67% of emergency admissions 2022, 2023)
Top 5 disease/injury causes of emergency admissions Number Percentage
Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified 1842 19%
Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes 1491 15%
Diseases of the circulatory system 1392 14%
Diseases of the respiratory system 1007 10%
Diseases of the digestive system 868 9%
Total emergency admissoins for all causes 9801  

Adult social care caseload

  • Wealden has the lowest rate of new contacts with Adult Social Care for both adults (18-64) and older people (65+) age groups.

Chart 38 - Total number of new contacts as a rate per 100,000 population, 2021/22

  • Wealden has a similar percentage for older people (65+) and adults (18-64) for 'new care' contacts progressing to a Social Care Assessment.

Chart 39 - 'New care' contacts from the community that have progressed to a Social Care Assessment, 2021/22

  • Wealden has a similar percentage of Social Care Assessment that resulted in Support Plans.

Chart 40 - Social Care Assessment that resulted in Support Plans, 2021/22

  • Wealden has the lowest rate of adults (16-64) and older people (65+) with at least one activity in a 12-month period.

Chart 41 – Number of people with at least one activity in a 12-month period as a rate per 100,000 population, 2021/22

Activity relates to contacts, assessments, reviews, appearance of needs tools, other statutory work, and safeguarding episodes.

Note: East Sussex data also includes clients that were unable to be allocated to a specific district/borough.

  • Wealden has a lower rate than East Sussex for persons receiving Long Term Support during 2021/22 for both adults and older people.

Chart 42 – Persons receiving Long Term Support per 1,000 population, 2021/22

CSC caseload / Looked after children

  • Wealden has the lowest rates for child protection plans. 

Chart 43 Children's social care - Locked after Children, Child Protection plans per 1,000 and referrals, 2022/23