Bristol health map reveals least and most healthy areas across the city

By Ben Bloch

New data reveals the least and most healthy areas of Bristol.

Central and wealthier areas have excellent access to healthcare services which are lacking in rural areas.

However, results showed the opposite for factors like air pollution, with the air in urban areas far worse than in rural areas.

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The Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) has compiled data that takes into account various factors like access to healthcare, GPs, hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, and leisure.

It also takes into account factors that are deemed to negatively impact health, including tobacconists, access to fast food, off-licenses, as well as air pollution.

Areas are ranked on a scale of 1-10, with one being the highest performing, and 10 being the worst.

Bristol is not performing well in the overall charts, with lots of areas mid-way on the charts and below, with only a few areas performing well.

Areas like Clifton, Coombe Dingle, Barton Hill, Long Ashton, and Keynsham all scored highly in almost all areas.

However, areas like Redland, the city centre, Fishponds, Southville, Bedminster, Mangotsfield, Patchway, and Bradley Stoke all performed very poorly overall.

Access to health services in Bristol

The areas where there is easy access to healthcare services, such as GPs, dentists, and hospitals (darker colour means worse-performing) (CDRC)

Better access to health services can generally be found closer to Bristol city centre, and that progressively deteriorates in rural areas.

Health services include access to GPs, hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, and leisure services.

Areas performing best include Bristol city centre, Clifton, Redland, Cotham, Westbury-on-Trym, Southville, Fishponds, Keynsham, Filton, and Bedminster, all of which rank in the top two places on the scale.

Poor-performing areas include Nailsea, Hengrove, Frenchay, Whitchurch, Hartcliffe, Avonmouth, and Kingswood which fall as low as 9th on the scale.

Those numbers are inflated in many areas by good access to hospitals. Many more areas across Bristol are suffering from a lack of access to GPs and pharmacies in particular.

Dental services are clearly lacking in south and east Bristol, while central areas like Clifton, Cotham, and Westbury-on-Trym have plenty of facilities nearby.

Air quality in Bristol

The lighter the colour, the better the air quality (CDRC)

Bristol is well-known to have bad air quality, and the council recently delayed the implementation of a Clean Air Zone without assessing the health harms “in any detail”.

The figures are unsurprising, with the worst air quality in the city centre, gradually improving towards more rural areas. However, no area gets above four on the 10 point scale.

The worst areas for air pollution include Clifton, Cotham, the city centre, St George, Brislington, Fishponds, and Westbury-on-Trym.

The best areas are more towards the edge of the city, including Knowle, Hengrove, Bishopsworth, Long Ashton, Failand, Yate, and Keynsham.

These results are in spite of data showing that areas nearer to the city centre have the best access to blue and green spaces (areas with water and/or undeveloped green spaces).

Areas such as Westbury-on-Trym, St George, City Centre, Clifton, and Totterdown all have excellent access to blue and green spaces, with some of the worst air quality.

The lighter the colour, the more nearby access there is to green and blue spaces (CDRC)

More rural areas with less access to green and blue spaces have better air quality. This includes Mangotsfield, Fishponds, Downend, Bedminster, Bishopsworth, Hartcliffe, Hengrove, Whitchurch, Bishopston, Bradley Stoke, Patchway, Cribbs Causeway, Winterbourne, and Yate.

The data would seem to suggest that green and blue spaces do not correlate to better air quality, although no definitive link has been found. More central areas tend to have more vehicles traffic, which could explain the disconnect.

Unhealthy retail access in Bristol

A map showing the ease of access to healthy and unhealthy retail (CDRC)

Central and highly-populated areas tend to have far easier access to unhealthy retail than those in rural areas.

Unhealthy retail includes access to fast food outlets, pubs, off-licences, tobacconists, and gambling outlets.

As would be expected, the densely-populated central areas of Clifton, Redland, Southville, Bedminster, Knowle, Cotham, Montpelier, Filton, and Fishponds all have easy access to such establishments.

These areas are at the very bottom of the scale, with many in the worst-performing category.

The best performing areas include Kingswood, Longwell Green, Long Ashton, Hartcliffe, Abbots Leigh, Patchway, Stoke Gifford, and Frampton Cotterell, although all of those areas still only fall around the middle of the scale, with plenty of unhealthy retail throughout the city.

While pubs permeate throughout the city, it is notable that tobacconists and off-licences are concentrated more centrally.

If you can't see the survey, click here

What does this tell us about health in Bristol?

No area of Bristol performs well in every single area, but some perform better than others overall.

More rural and quieter areas tend to have much better overall health outcomes, with less access to unhealthy retail and lower levels of air pollution.

When it comes to access to healthcare services, however, rural areas perform very poorly, while central areas have far better access.

Air quality is still a major problem, but the council does have plans to address that, although the implementation of a Clean Air Zone was delayed from this month to next summer.

There is also a clear lack of green and blue spaces in many areas in Bristol, which is problematic given the shortage of housing in the city already.

Altogether, there are many issues to address, and it is clear that there are serious disparities across Bristol.

To see the map and the data in full, click here .

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