As of the 2021 census, Buckinghamshire had a resident population of 553,100. The authority is the 4th (out of 19) least densely populated upper tier local authority in the South East with a population density of 353 residents per square kilometre. 62% of the population are based in the geographical south of the county (the former district areas of Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks), and 38% (ONS MYE 2020) in the north (former Aylesbury Vale district).
According to the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD 2019), Buckinghamshire was ranked the 7th least deprived of 151 upper-tier local authorities in England (4th in 2015). Buckinghamshire had 1 out of 319 Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) ranked within the 20% most deprived areas nationally, Riverside in Aylesbury Vale. A further 8 areas were ranked in the 30% most deprived areas nationally, 6 in Aylesbury Vale and 2 in Wycombe.
Buckinghamshire has better health overall in comparison to England and the South East. Life expectancy is higher for men and women, however, the health of residents varies within, and between, local areas. For example, people living in more deprived areas are more likely to live in poor health and die earlier than people living in more affluent areas. They are also more likely to develop multiple long-term conditions earlier, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Unhealthy behaviours increase the risk of developing these long-term conditions. In Buckinghamshire there are increasing rates being seen in obesity in both adults and children and the COVID-19 pandemic has seen people becoming less active, eating less healthily and drinking more alcohol. Smoking remains the leading risk factor for ill health and death in Buckinghamshire. During 2017 to 2019 cancer was the leading cause of death in Buckinghamshire, followed by cardiovascular disease.
People in Buckinghamshire have also experienced poorer mental health with rising diagnosis and referral rates and greater social isolation. COVID-19 has also impacted some people’s income, employment, and children’s education - all factors that can affect people’s health and wellbeing.
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust provides Buckinghamshire residents with hospital services and is made up of 7 Hospitals, the National Spinal Injuries Centre and Community Clinics/Health Centres. Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury is the largest hospital and provides emergency and specialist treatment including maternity, critical care, ophthalmology and burns and plastics. It is also where the National Spinal Injuries Centre is based. The other hospitals include Wycombe Hospital (which is the main site for elective surgery and provides specialist treatment for heart disease and stroke, cancer and urological conditions), Amersham Hospital (which is a large community hospital), Buckingham Community Hospital (which cares for older patients), Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross Hospital (which provides community health services in the south of Buckinghamshire), Marlow Hospital (which provides community health services), and Thame Community Hospital which is located in Oxfordshire. People in the north of the county also use services provided by Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and people in the south of the county also use services provided by the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust provides mental health services, learning disability services and community health services across the county. Its services are delivered at community bases, hospitals, clinics and people’s homes.
Buckinghamshire has 47 GP practices and 13 Primary Care Networks (PCN) across the county. PCNs are groups of GPs working together with a range of local providers to offer more personalised and coordinated health and social care to their local populations.