People who live in the poorest areas of the UK are needlessly dying up to 16 years earlier than people in the wealthiest areas.
The Lives Cut Short campaign calls attention to the inequalities in life expectancy across the UK and is organised by Health Equals, a collaboration between organisations, charities and businesses that want to rebuild and protect the foundations of our health, and prevent lives from being needlessly cut short. People’s Health Trust is a founding member.
Launched on 21 March, Lives Cut Short highlights that in too many of our communities the building blocks of health are missing or crumbling. When people don’t have what they need to heat their homes or buy healthy food, and are constantly worrying about making ends meet, it can lead to chronic stress, poor health and people dying years too soon.
The campaign emphasises that change is possible and inequalities can be reduced by focussing on what we know shapes health: better housing, secure and fair income, access to education, a thriving local environment and social connections. These building blocks are central to supporting better health for those who need it most.
Health Equals says there are things that can be done right now. We need a plan that recognises how our health and wellbeing are shaped by many different factors. Joined-up policies can put the building blocks of health back together, giving everyone a chance to thrive, wherever they live. Health Equals’ 29 members include The Health Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, The Food Foundation, Mind, Crisis, and Institute for Health Equity.
People’s Health Trust’s Chief Executive, John Hume, said:
“People are dying younger and spending more of their lives in ill-health depending on where they live. These inequalities are avoidable. We’re part of Health Equals because we believe that together we can create decent, affordable homes, increased income and better jobs, and strong local environments and communities, and close this unjust gap.”