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Research:

Health Equity in England

This report has been produced by the Institute of Health Equity and commissioned by the Health Foundation to mark 10 years on from the landmark study Fair Society, Healthy Lives (The Marmot Review).

Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On highlights that:

  • people can expect to spend more of their lives in poor health
  • improvements to life expectancy have stalled, and declined for the poorest 10% of women
  • the health gap has grown between wealthy and deprived areas 
  • place matters – living in a deprived area of the North East is worse for your health than living in a similarly deprived area in London, to the extent that life expectancy is nearly five years less

Read more and download the report at:

https://www.health.org.uk/publications/reports/the-marmot-review-10-years-on

Commenting on the launch, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive at the Health Foundation, said:

“Today’s report shows that things are now worse, especially for women. There has been a decrease in the proportion of our lives that we can expect to live in good health. And not only has the health gap grown between wealthy and deprived areas, it has also grown between deprived areas. Living in a deprived area of the North East is worse for your health than living in a similarly deprived area in London, to the extent that life expectancy is nearly five years less. Place matters.

“The evidence is clear and the solutions are there – what is needed is the will to act. Where there has been progress, it has been fragmented and underpowered. Steps should now be taken to implement a package of policies over the next five years that will lay the foundations for sustainable improvement over the long-term. Areas that need immediate investment include addressing child and in-work poverty, the public health grant to local authorities, and children’s services such as Sure Start.”

Dr Simon Duffy of the Centre for Welfare Reform commented:

“The publication of this review of the landmark Marmot Review is very welcome. Sadly, its findings are not shocking for anyone who has been monitoring the impact of austerity on the UK since 2010. Unless something radically changes I fear these issues will disappear from public view after short time. For instance, the coverage of the report on the BBC Evening News on the day of publication was lamentable. The report was the last news item to be discussed and the reporting implied that growing death rates for many were created by local authority policies and could be mitigated simply by increased local creativity. There was no discussion of the impact of austerity, welfare reform or the long-standing causes of regional inequality. There was no recognition that this is an entirely UK-made problem and that many other countries are not seeing the same deterioration, but instead increased in life expectancy and health equity.

“We are living in strange and uncertain times. We should be shocked and appalled that the UK is seeing people die many years before they should, that communities have been abandoned by central Government and that its welfare policies are causing food banks, malnutrition, unnecessary death and suicides. The fact that these policies now seem normal and their consequences inevitable is the real tragedy. There is a special responsibility on funding bodies and civic leaders at this time to speak out clearly and boldly and to help those who are marginalised to get their voices heard.”