Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has raised his concerns over the nations health as new figures show that UK life expectancy has stalled for the first time in the UK, since records began.
The new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that life expectancy overall stopped improving for the first time since 1982, when figures began. Women’s life expectancy from birth remains 82.9 years and for men it is 79.2, the figures from the Office for National Statistics, for 2015-17, show. For men and women in Scotland and Wales, it declined by more than a month. Men in Northern Ireland have seen a similar fall. For women in Northern Ireland, and for men and women in England, life expectancy at birth is unchanged.
The ONS said the stalling of life expectancy was linked to a particularly high number of deaths recorded from 2015 to 2017, which also coincided with a bad flu season and excess winter deaths. Extra pressures on hospitals, in particular Accident and Emergency Units, over the winter months has led to increased waits and ambulance queues in hospital car parks.
Throughout the 20th Century, the UK experienced steady improvements in life expectancy at birth, resulting in a larger and older population.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“After decades of positive progress which saw UK citizens living longer than ever before through healthier living and better social coverage, we’re now seeing a worrying backwards trend.
“With our health service under more pressure than ever before some academics have argued that government austerity policies, such as cuts to social care budgets in England, may have played a part and I would hope the Government takes the ONS figures seriously, and acts.”