With more than a third of West Sussex residents living in coastal towns, a new framework for action to reduce coastal inequalities in West Sussex has been developed.

Led by West Sussex County Council’s Public Health team, the framework is based on analyses shared in an accompanying data pack. The data pack shows how people who live in our coastal areas have poorer health outcomes than those in non-coastal areas. Both the data pack and the framework are intended to guide actions to reduce health inequalities on the coast.

The framework and data pack provides an insight into the health and wellbeing and its wider determinants, in our coastal West Sussex towns. These include Bognor Regis, East Wittering, Littlehampton, Selsey, Shoreham-by-Sea (including Lancing), Southwick and Worthing.

It is important to also recognise local inequalities in health in urban areas as well as rural parts of the county, however the coastal focus in this report was prompted and informed by the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) Annual report 2021: health in coastal communities. This report highlighted the serious health challenges experienced by coastal communities, and the risk of preventable ill-health getting worse as coastal populations age. It also recognises the importance of assessing health needs separately in coastal areas, which are often masked by neighbouring areas of relative affluence and better health.

As part of the development of a new West Sussex Joint Local Health and Wellbeing Strategy in 2024, the coastal inequalities framework has been created to guide local action to reduce inequalities in line with the CMO report and other relevant local/national policy.

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The ambition is that individuals, organisations, and partners use the framework and insight to improve health outcomes through their own activities or services. We encourage them to start using the findings from the analyses in discussions about coastal West Sussex.

Individuals and organisations who deliver, plan, and commission services in the coastal areas are invited to let us know if there is anything else they would like to see included; any questions they may have; or any suggestions on how improved outcomes could be achieved. Please contact Public Health to provide your thoughts.

There will be ongoing opportunities to contribute or comment on the framework. We will continue to analyse key information and data, and work with others, including academics, on this important area to keep the framework updated.


Health and wellbeing of West Sussex coastal communities: A framework for action to reduce coastal health inequalities.