Working Well - Health

Physical & Sensory Disability


Disability is defined under the Equality Act of 2010 if you “… have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities”.

Some people may have disabilities and rights under the Equality Act if they if they have a long standing illness which isn’t currently affecting their daily activities.

The Family Resources Survey for 2017/18 reports that 21% (13.3m) of people in the UK reported a disability in 2017/18.  The highest proportion of respondents were of state pension age with the lowest proportion being children.

While some disabilities result in people seeking more health care, others do not so the picture is extremely diverse. It is important to ensure that people with disabilities do not experience unmet health needs and recognize that there are health inequalities associated with living with a condition that leads to disability.

Department for Work and Pensions (2019) Family Resources Survey 2017/18 [online]

World Health Organisation factsheet:


Main Issues

Prevalence estimates for the Hartlepool adult population with a physical disability is predicted to fall from 11,970 in 2019 to 11,153 in 2035.

Predicted numbers of physical disability population in hartlepool


The breakdown of physically disabled population in Hartlepool remains very static, with no one condition moving more than 1% of the total across the entire period.

% of Total Predicted Physically Disabled Population












Longstanding health condition caused by a strokeBottom of Form






Impaired mobility






Personal care disability 












Personal care disabilities are the largest contributor to the estimated physically disabled population in Hartlepool throughout the period, and is the only one of the four conditions to increase its share across the time period. Within the personal care population, the age breakdown shows that the population peaks between 55-64 years of age, but those aged 35-44 years of age are the only group to increase their 2019 number in 2035, from 299 to 331. This is an increase of 10%, at the same time that the personal care population aged 55-64 years of age falls by 17%. The same pattern is visible in the populations for diabetes and mobility conditions. In those groups the largest population is the 55-64 years age group, but the only age group to increase from 2019 to 2035 is the 35-44 years age group. For mobility the 35-44 years age group increases by 10%, and for mobility the increase is 12%.

For sensory disabilities, numbers are again predicted to fall from 2019 to 2035. Visual impairments are expected to fall by 8.3% from 36 to 33 people, and hearing impairments to fall by 10.2% from 5,733 to 5,147 people. Hearing impairments, similar to the physical disabilities, has an increase only for those aged 35-44 years, but visual impairments don’t have an increase in any single age group.

Rates of preventable sight loss through age related macular degeneration have fallen from their 2010/11 rate of 161.7 per 100,000 population to 124.3 per 100,000 in 2017/18. This is a fall of 23.1% in seven years.




The rate fell year on year for three years from 2010/11 to 2013/14 from 161.7 per 100,000 to 108.1 per 100,000, the lowest rate of the eight year reporting period. However this was followed by a 51.2% increase in 2014/15, up to 163.4 per 100,000 the highest rate of the reporting period. Throughout the whole reporting period Hartlepool remained statistically similar to the England average.


Current provision

Strategy as attached coming to an end for Hearing Loss (See Hartlepool Now) could only find the draft but final document on Hartlepool Now is the same

Primarily individuals with a sensory loss access care and support via a Direct payment, and receive Information, advice and guidance form Hartlepool Blind Welfare or Hartlepool Deaf Services.

Both services are now operating from premises at Cafe 177

We have commissioned Hi -VIs UK (Local provider) to consult on a new sensory loss (Deaf deafblind Blind) strategy

HI VIs UK  are consulting with local providers, Hartlepool carers, Blind Welfare, North Tees & Hartlepool FT, Hartlepool Deaf Centre and NRASS  (Northern Regional Association for Sensory Support) who presently provide interpretation and translation services also operating from Cafe 177

We hold a sensory loss register and have about 54 people registered with a Dual Sensory loss

Shared Lives

Shared Lives schemes support adults with learning disabilities, mental health, physical disabilities and other needs that make it harder for people to live on their own.   The schemes match someone who needs care with an approved carer. The carer shares their family and community life, and gives care and support to the person with care needs.

Everyone who lives or visits a Shared Lives carer, as well as the carer are part of a local Shared Lives scheme. There are around 150 Shared Lives schemes across the UK.  Schemes match people who need support with a Shared Lives carer - giving each person time to get to know each other, and choose to share their family and community lives together - whether for day support, respite, or to move in with their Shared Lives carer's family. 

Schemes support each match between people and they assess how suitable and safe the Shared Lives carer’s home is.

Future Proposal

Sensory Disability

Hi VIS UK - are consulting as we speak and will be producing a first draft of the strategy in October.

Working closely also with Hi VIs UK on their Making Waves service (Lottery funded), looking at e-learning and workforce development. 

Stroke Navigation service (Check with Jacqui Goddard if we are still commissioning the service)  Provides care and support, information advice and guidance to people following a stroke.

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