Home Health & Wellness New Data Shows That Avoidable Mortality Remains High Across England and Wales

New Data Shows That Avoidable Mortality Remains High Across England and Wales

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The latest data published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that levels of avoidable mortality in the absence of public health interventions across England and Wales remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

It also shows widening regional inequalities in avoidable mortality, a rise in the mortality rate for children and young people, and a rise in alcohol and drug-related deaths.

  • The data shows stark regional inequalities in the country. Avoidable mortality in Blackpool is almost 3.5 times higher than in Hart, Hampshire (455.3 and 133.2 per 100,000 people, respectively).
  • Avoidable mortality numbers for England and Wales went down in 2022 when compared to 2020, but they are still higher than pre-pandemic levels (2022 levels were 238.1 and 273.8 per 100,000 people for England and Wales, respectively, lower than 2020 at 257.7 and 289.6 per 100,000, respectively, but still higher than pre-covid in 2019 at 221.5 and 262.0 per 100,000 people, respectively).
  • The avoidable age-standardised mortality rate for children and young people has been rising since 2020. For England, in 2022, it was 9.6 per 100,000 people, compared to 8.1 in 2020.
  • The top causes of avoidable deaths in children and young people in 2021 – 2022 were diseases of the respiratory system (from 68 to 107, respectively), followed by infectious diseases (from 45 to 71 respectively). Alcohol-related and drug-related deaths also increased from 68 in 2021 to 80 in 2022.

Last week, the Royal Society for Public Health published its “vision for a healthier future“, arguing that urgent and sustained action is needed from the next government to help reduce health inequalities, child poverty, and the crisis of ill health in the workforce.

Commenting on the release of the data, William Roberts, FRSPH, chief executive, Royal Society for Public Health, said: “The rise of deaths that are considered avoidable is tragic. The data also illustrates that where people are born and live continues to have a massive impact on their lives, their health, and when they die.

The situation is stark. Behind the statistics is enormous suffering and years spent living in ill health that could be avoided. It is also heartbreaking to see avoidable mortality rates rising for children and young people.

As the ONS makes clear, this is avoidable; it doesn’t have to be this way; lives do not have to be cut short. We know that public health interventions work. However, they can’t happen without sustained investment in services that put prevention at the heart of our communities.

The country is going to the polls in a matter of weeks. Preventing ill health needs to be at the forefront of the next government’s agenda, and the public health workforce will be a vital partner in doing this.

Whoever forms the next government will need to act quickly. We have secured the greatest impact on the nation’s health when we have been bold.

Everyone stands to benefit from building a healthier and more productive future. Ultimately, this will be the key to unlocking future prosperity.”

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