London Borough of Merton

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The London Borough of Merton is a borough in South West London.

Merton was formed in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Mitcham, the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon and the Merton and Morden Urban District, all formerly within Surrey.

Social Prescribing

Social Prescribing has been piloted in Merton since January 2017.

In the first year the Merton programme has seen the following benefits:

  • Patients self-reported health and wellbeing scores significantly increased between Social Prescribing visits (2.8 to 3.5 (77% increase); (t(86)=1.99; p= 0.00)).
  • Patients visited the GP significantly less in the three months after visiting the Social Prescribing Coordinator than the three months before (11.9 to 8 (33% decrease); (t(137)=1.98; p= 0.00)).
  • Patients visited A&E significantly less in the six months after visiting the Social Prescribing Coordinator than the six months before (1.4 to 0.7 (50% decrease); (t(59)=2.01; p=0.04)).

The Commonside Trust is one of the main community sector partners in Merton’s Social Prescribing Programme and have been working with Dr Sekeram on Merton SP since January 2017. The Commonside Trust is working to improve the lives and environment of people living in Merton. It does this by managing a community centre, running community events and a number of community development programmes.

Population Health and Return on Investment described two approaches of measuring financial return on investment in Social Prescribing in Merton and Tower Hamlets.

Demographics

In 2001, the census recorded that 25% of the population of the borough was from an ethnic minority. The highest ethnic populations were recorded in wards in the east of the borough in Mitcham, Eastfields and Pollards Hill. The percentage of population from ethnic minorities is predicted to rise across the borough within the next decade.

A 2017 report by Trust for London and the New Policy Institute found that Merton has a poverty rate of 20%, which is the 7th lowest rate in London. It also found that the level of pay inequality in Merton is lower than in any other borough, except neighbouring Croydon.

According to the council's comparative assessment of wards made in 2004, the most deprived wards within the borough were in the south and east where unemployment rates, educational attainment and the quality of health were worst. The most affluent wards were in the north and west of the borough.

Comparative crime rates appear to be unrelated to the deprivation ranking of wards. The wards containing Mitcham town centre and the St Helier Estate are ranked highest for crime within Merton with the wards containing the commercial shopping centres of Colliers Wood and Wimbledon also featuring high in the ranking.

The constituency area of Wimbledon is an affluent area of London with a high proportion of city workers, while Mitcham and Morden is relatively deprived by comparison, which explains the geographical split of political representation of the borough at both national and local elections.



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