Most Sheffielders will spend a quarter of their life in poor health and more if deprived
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According to Mr Fell’s report, Sheffield is overall slightly behind the national average for life expectancy and healthy life expectancy and there is a significant gap between the richest and poorest.
He said: “What is particularly concerning is that the overall data masks considerable inequality at a local level, with people living in the most deprived areas of this city experiencing both shorter lives and a greater proportion of their lifetime in poor health relative to people in the least deprived neighbourhoods.
“A baby born in Firth Park can expect to live a third of their shorter life with poor health, with a large proportion of that in working age. A baby born in Carterknowle and Millhouses will live a seventh of a longer life with poor health.”
By the age of 65, half of people in the most deprived 20 per cent of Sheffield will have two or more long term health conditions, compared to only one quarter in the most affluent, Mr Fell said.
Healthy life expectancy is also slightly lower for Sheffield women, most of whom can expect to live in poor health for 27 per cent of their life (about 22 years) whereas most Sheffield men can expect to live in poor health for 23 per cent of their life (about 18 years).
What needs to be done to improve
Mr Fell emphasised that too much focus and funding was being spent on high tech health care with marginal benefit relative to cost which was detracting from measures with much higher value.
He said there was a “simplistic and false” narrative about poor individual choice and a lack of personal responsibility for health.
“Commercial actors and media outlets sympathetic to this narrative encourage policy to be shaped around the individual and education to make ‘informed decisions’ about commodities that are addictive, harmful, and heavily promoted,” he said.
Instead, he said there the starting point should be the whole of government and systemic change – not individual behaviour.
The issues will be discussed in a strategy and resources committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 31 from 2pm.
To read the full report and agenda, visit the council’s website here: https://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=641&MId=8768