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Life Expectancy: Disadvantaged

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 3885, tabled on 15 January 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of wealth inequalities in healthy life expectancy.

Answered on

24 January 2020

The Government wants everyone to have the same opportunity to have a long and healthy life, whoever they are, wherever they live and whatever their social circumstances. We are committed to giving everyone five extra years of healthy, independent life by 2035 and reducing the gap between the rich and poor. Life expectancy at birth is the highest it has ever been in England. However, the rate of improvement in life expectancy has slowed down and we are not complacent.

This Government has committed to back the National Health Service by £33.9 billion a year by 2023/24. The NHS Long Term Plan commits all major national programmes and every local area across England is required to set out specific measurable goals and mechanisms by which they will contribute to narrowing health inequalities over the next five and ten years.

Preventing health problems is the best way to improve life expectancy and reduce inequalities. The commitments outlined in the Prevention Green Paper signal a new approach for the health and care system.