The Marmot Review into health inequalities in England titled ‘Fair Society, Healthy Lives’, was published on 11 February 2010. It proposes an evidence based strategy to address the social determinants of health, the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age and which can lead to health inequalities. It draws further attention to the evidence that most people in England aren’t living as long as the best off in society and spend longer in ill-health. Premature illness and death affects everyone below the top.
Summary of findings and recommendations
- People living in the poorest neighbourhoods in England will, on average, die seven years earlier than people living in the richest neighbourhoods
- People living in poorer areas not only die sooner, but spend more of their lives with disability – an average total difference of 17 years
- The Review highlights the social gradient of health inequalities – put simply, the lower one’s social and economic status, the poorer one’s health is likely to be
- Health inequalities arise from a complex interaction of many factors – housing, income, education, social isolation, disability – all of which are strongly affected by one’s economic and social status
- Health inequalities are largely preventable. Not only is there a strong social justice case for addressing health inequalities, there is also a pressing economic case. It is estimated that the annual cost of health inequalities is between £36 billion to £40 billion through lost taxes, welfare payments and costs to the NHS
- Action on health inequalities requires action across all the social determinants of health, including education, occupation, income, home and community
Child Poverty in Greater Manchester
The Government organisation Public Health England annually produces health profiles for each region of the county. In 2014, 129,700 children in Greater Manchester were living in poverty.
Child poverty has a direct impact on life expectancy. The PHE health profiles show that men in Bolton have a 13.5 year shorter life expectancy than the country average. There is also an increased likelihood of poor health and disability.
Poverty increases the demands on health and social services. Ensuring that children get their health needs attended to in time can help towards a better quality of life and reduce risks of developing disability later in their adult lives.
Missed Appointments in the NHS
Missed appointments, known as Did Not Attends (DNAs) can cause serious delays in treatment for other patients. In 2014 the NHS reported 75,998 children Did Not Attend their appointments, costing in excess of £2.2 million.
Health Professionals and Social Workers who refer children to our charity often do so because they know that the family has already missed a number of important appointments and that, without the help of reliable friendly transport, they are likely to do so again.