Communities of interest JSNA

Armed Forces and ex-Armed Forces

According to data from the 2021 Census around 3.2 per cent of the borough population (5,737 people) have previously served in any of the UK Armed forces. Around three-quarters of those who served did so in the regular armed forces (4,409 people), with a further 1,079 in the reserves and 249 people who have served in both. Rochdale has a lower proportion of people in its population that have previously served in the armed forces compared to the national or regional averages of 3.8 per cent.

The JSNA approach to inequalities

One of the key components of the JSNA is to identify inequalities in health and wellbeing experienced by different population groups in the local authority area.

We're often reliant on research and studies at a national level in order to identify examples of these inequalities. The findings are then applied to our population structure and added to our own local evidence in order to understand the inequalities present in these populations at a local level.

Local authority commitment to the Armed and ex-Armed Forces

Local authorities and NHS organisations are committed to uphold the Armed Forces Covenant which promises fair treatment for those who serve or have served in the armed forces and their families. The armed services community includes serving personnel, veterans and their families for all of the services making up the UK's armed forces.

Health issues in the Armed and ex-Armed Forces community

In general, the health of the serving military population is good compared to the general population thanks to the physical fitness required to join, support networks available and access to health care and employment (Local Government Association, 2016).

However, they're also at a higher risk of musculoskeletal conditions, common mental health disorders and excessive drinking. Outcomes for early service leavers are also thought to be worse, but these likely relate to other factors in their lives prior to service.

Although the majority of ex-armed forces can adapt to civilian life without any problems the veteran population are at increased risk of developing certain physical or mental conditions in later life. The susceptibility to these risks will vary depending on their service history as well as other factors such as age and living environment.

Statistics on the Armed and ex-Armed Forces