London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

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Barking and Dagenham is a London borough in East London, England. It lies around 9 miles (14.4 km) east of Central London. It is an Outer London borough and the south is within the London Riverside section of the Thames Gateway; an area designated as a national priority for urban regeneration. At the 2011 census it had a population of 187,000, the majority of which are within the Becontree estate. The local authority is Barking and Dagenham London Borough Council. Barking and Dagenham was one of six London boroughs to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Social Prescribing

There are a number of social prescribing initiatives in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Digital Social Prescribing - HealthUnlocked Discover[1]

Care City is working in partnership with Health Unlocked to provide GP practices in Barking & Dagenham with a digital social prescribing tool to signpost patients to local services. HealthUnlocked Discover is a digital social prescribing tool. It is embedded on EMIS, a primary care patient management system, enabling health professionals to signpost patients to local support services and online resources relating to social conditions and/or needs using a prescription-type transaction.

It is designed for patients who may benefit from additional help and local support to manage their condition, and should be used to complement the clinical advice or medical prescription being provided. All resources signposted have been quality assured by clinicians.

Each HealthUnlocked social prescription provides a patient with an email containing a link to the relevant details of local services, voluntary sector online communities, editorial content and other online resources for disease-focused or holistic support.

HealthUnlocked Discover is aimed for the majority of the population who only requires sign-posting to information relevant to their condition/need to empower them to self-manage their condition.

It is not made to replace link workers. It acts as a gateway to the more traditional social prescribing route that offers 1:1 support from link workers.

Database of social prescribing opportunities

Barking and Dagenham Council for Voluntary Service (BDCVS)  in response to requests from the local community and voluntary sector as well as the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and Care City are compiling a database of social prescribing opportunities. These are services that organisation may already be providing, or are able to provide to patients of local GPs and hospitals

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Community solutions social prescribing pilot

In Barking and Dagenham, a real opportunity has emerged to link GPs social prescribing directly with a new Community Solutions service. ‘Community Solutions’ is a bold and radical redesign of council services with the aim of getting upstream of complex needs by determining and tackling root causes.

Community Solutions is set to increase resilience, resolve problems early and reduce demand for services. Support will be on-line, face-to-face and importantly through pro-active outreach for community networks and pro-active outreach support for families for example through accessible front door locations like libraries.

The potential offered to general practice by Community Solutions is significant as it is estimated that less than 30% of presenting issues at GP surgeries need clinical intervention, and 70% of appointments are down to issues such as housing, income, work etc. Using a similar approach to the Rotherham social prescribing pilot, there can be an increase in the capacity of GPs to meet the non-clinical needs of patients with complex long-term conditions, who are the greatest users of primary and social care resources.

Using Community Solutions, we can support and signpost residents to local voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations. These services would need to be commissioned to meet the increased demand created by Social Prescribing. Such services would include advice and information, befriending services, volunteering opportunities and physical activity.

Community projects

There are also some successful community projects.


In 1801, the civil parishes that form the modern borough had a total population of 1,937; and the area was characterised by farming, woodland and the fishing fleet at Barking. This last industry employed 1,370 men and boys by 1850, but by the end of the century had ceased to exist; replaced by train deliveries of fresh fish from the East Coast ports. The population rose slowly through the 19th century, as the district became built up; and new industries developed around Barking.

The population rose dramatically between 1921 and 1931, when the London County Council developed the Becontree Estate. This public housing development of 27,000 homes housed over 100,000 people, split between the then urban district councils of Ilford, Dagenham and Barking. People were rehoused from the slums of the East End.[1] In 1931, the Ford Motor Company relocated to a Template:Convert site at Dagenham, and in 1932 the District line was extended to Upminster; bringing further development to the area.

After World War II, further public housing projects were built to rehouse the many Londoners made homeless in the Blitz. As industry declined during the 1960s, the population entered a long decline, but has now begun to rise again with new housing developments on brownfield sites. In 2013 Barking and Dagenham has England's largest fertility rate: 2.58.

At the time of the 2011 census, 49.5% of the borough's community identified themselves as white British. Barking and Dagenham has been strongly affected by immigration, with the white British population having dropped 30.6% from 2001 to 2011 - the second largest decrease in the country, behind neighbouring Newham. The population of non-UK born residents increasing by 205%. The largest decrease of White British occurred in the Longbridge ward (79.8% in 2001 to 35% in 2011), and the Abbey ward, which contains the main Barking area (from 46.2% to 15.8%). The smallest decrease was in the Eastbrook ward.[2] The largest minority communities were of Black and Asian heritage.

Barking and Dagenham had by far the largest decrease of the 65+ population, having dropped almost 20% between 2001 and 2011. There were 69,700 households in the borough in 2011, up 3.6% from 2001. The borough also had the largest proportion of school-age (5-19) population of all the local authorities in England and Wales, 21.4%, at the 2011 census. The borough's pre-school (0-4) population rose by 49.1% from 2001 to 2011, by far the largest increase in London. The following table shows the ethnic group of respondents in the 2001 and 2011 census in Barking and Dagenham.


Ethnic Group 2001 2011
Number % Number %
White: British 132,566 80.86% 91,949 49.46%
White: Irish 2,753 1.68% 1,730 0.93%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller 182 0.10%
White: Other 4,348 2.65% 14,525 7.81%
White: Total 139,667 85.19% 108,386 58.30%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 3,681 2.25% 7,436 4.00%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 3,055 1.86% 8,007 4.31%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 673 0.41% 7,701 4.14%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 775 0.47% 1,315 0.71%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian 877 0.53% 5,135 2.76%
Asian or Asian British: Total 9,061 5.53% 29,594 15.92%
Black or Black British: African 7,284 4.44% 28,685 15.43%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 3,434 2.09% 5,227 2.81%
Black or Black British: Other Black 722 0.44% 3,228 1.74%
Black or Black British: Total 11,440 6.98% 37,140 19.98%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean 1,420 0.87% 2,669 1.44%
Mixed: White and Black African 572 0.35% 2,128 1.14%
Mixed: White and Asian 534 0.33% 1,246 0.67%
Mixed: Other Mixed 550 0.34% 1,835 0.99%
Mixed: Total 3,076 1.88% 7,878 4.24%
Other: Arab 973 0.52%
Other: Any other ethnic group 1,940 1.04%
Other: Total 700 0.43% 2,913 1.57%
Black, Asian, and minority ethnic: Total 24,277 14.81% 77,525 41.70%
Total 163,944 100.00% 185,911 100.00%


Map of all the London Boroughs