A recent report has unearthed a troubling trend in England: individuals hailing from less affluent locales are facing premature mortality at a markedly higher rate than their counterparts in more prosperous areas.

The general life expectancy has undergone a dip of 0.2 years for men, while remaining stagnant for women since the period of 2010–2012, settling at 82.8 years for females and 78.8 years for males in the timeframe of 2020–2022. This stands in stark contrast to the previous decade, spanning from 2000–2002 to 2010–2012, which witnessed an increase of 2.3 years for females and 3.1 years for males. While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly played a role in shaping these figures up until 2022, scholars from the UCL’s Institute of Health Equity (IHE) note that healthy life expectancy, accounting for years spent in less than optimal health due to illness or injury, experienced a slight downturn for women and a plateau for men over the ten-year period leading to 2019.

Healthy life expectancy, a measure of the average number of years a person can anticipate living in good health, underscores the broader public health narrative. Notably, the pace of increase in life expectancy at birth in England has notably decelerated since 2011, with variances observed across different regions, notably a widening of the gap between northern and southern locales, particularly among women.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the IHE, expressed concern, asserting that Britain is grappling with a grim reality: a nation beset by sickness and inequality, reflective of systemic policy failures since 2010. He stressed the significance of health not only to individuals and communities but also as a barometer of national well-being, lamenting Britain’s poor performance in this regard.

The research, titled “England’s Widening Health Gap: Local Places Falling Behind,” highlights distressing disparities, particularly noting a decline in life expectancy among women residing in the most deprived neighbourhoods prior to the pandemic. Alarmingly, the study’s headline findings reveal no statistically significant reduction in life expectancy inequalities for either gender across English local authorities. Of particular note is the substantial increase in inequality witnessed in female life expectancy in Kensington and Chelsea, where the gap between the most affluent and deprived neighbourhoods widened from 6.2 to 11.9 years.

This disparity is echoed in other regions, including Stoke-on-Trent, where the gap for women expanded from 3.8 to 8.9 years. The North East emerged as a hotspot for growing life expectancy inequality, with a notable increase of 1.9 years among women and 1.5 years among men.

Sir Michael has penned letters to the 58 Members of Parliament representing constituencies wholly or partially encompassing these areas, urging them to address the concerning health trends. Notably, several former or current cabinet ministers, including ex-Prime Minister Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove, and former Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government Robert Jenrick, received correspondence.

In his plea to political leaders, Sir Michael emphasised the imperative of prioritising public health and tackling the root causes of health inequalities, advocating for a holistic approach that addresses the social determinants of health.

Responding to the report, a government spokesperson reaffirmed their commitment to narrowing the gap in healthy life expectancy by 2030 and increasing healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035, as outlined in the Levelling Up White Paper.

The 17 local authorities with statistically significant increases in life expectancy inequality include:

  • Amber Valley
  • Bexley
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Charnwood
  • Cornwall
  • County Durham
  • Erewash
  • Guildford
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Newark and Sherwood
  • Norfolk
  • Norwich
  • North Somerset
  • Northumberland
  • Rotherham
  • Stoke-on-Trent

If the Tories cared they would have done something years ago. But they didnt.

If you like our content, join us in helping to bring reality and decency back by SUBSCRIBING to our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ1Ll1ylCg8U19AhNl-NoTg AND SUPPORTING US where you can: Award Winning Independent Citizen Media Needs Your Help. PLEASE SUPPORT US FOR JUST £2 A MONTH https://dorseteye.com/donate/

To report this post you need to login first.
Previous articleSerious risk of flooding from thunderstorms in southern England
Next articleFor those who care about morality and the law, let’s look closely at Richard Tice and Isabele Oakeshott
Dorset Eye
Dorset Eye is an independent not for profit news website built to empower all people to have a voice. To be sustainable Dorset Eye needs your support. Please help us to deliver independent citizen news... by clicking the link below and contributing. Your support means everything for the future of Dorset Eye. Thank you.