Report 4/2024
England’s Widening Health Gap: Local Places Falling Behind by Peter Goldblatt, Owen Callaghan, Jessica Allen, Felicity Porritt

England’s Widening Health Gap: Local Places Falling Behind

.pdfRead the report .pdfView the data

IHE’s new report, ‘England’s Widening Health Gap: Local Places Falling Behind’, confirms widening inequalities in life expectancy between regions in England and within local authorities since 2010. These widening inequalities are associated with an average reduction in local authority spending power of 34 percent. Read the new article by the Press Association and covered by regional/local media across the country, including the Independent detailing the failings of MPs in their constituencies, linked below.

The IHE has looked at every local authority in England and, for each, plotted levels of health, inequalities in health and cuts in their spending power. Local authorities fund many of the services e.g., housing, education and social care, which support or ameliorate the drivers of health inequalities.

The new report provides information from 17 local authorities with statistically significant increases in inequalities in life expectancy and overviews widening regional inequalities in life expectancy. The report shows, since 2010, central government spending cuts to local authorities were highest in areas with lower life expectancy and more health inequalities, further harming health in these places.

IHE Director, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, has written to party leaders, Metropolitan Mayors and local authority leaders and 58 MPs, whose constituencies lie wholly or partially in these local authorities. These include six former or current cabinet ministers, including the former Prime Minister Liz Truss, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Secretary, Michael Gove and former Housing, Communities & Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick.

The report follows IHE’s Lives Cut Short report, published in January, which confirmed a million people in 90% of areas in England lived shorter lives than they should between 2011 and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.