Responding to the latest Office for National Statistics data on life expectancy in the UK, David Finch, Assistant Director of Healthy Lives at the Health Foundation, said:
'Today's figures show that children born today can still expect to live longer than their parents. Girls born in 2020 are expected to live for 90.2 years, and boys for 87.3 years. However, people living in the UK today are not expected to live for as long as previously predicted. The unprecedented increase in deaths caused by COVID-19 should end as we move beyond the pandemic but there will be a lasting impact from the decade of stalling life expectancy prior to the pandemic. Girls born in 2020 are now expected to die 4.8 years earlier than was expected in 2012, and boys, 4.5 years earlier.
‘The government faces a massive challenge in delivering its promise to improve life expectancy for people in the UK. A ’whole government approach’ is required if we are to see significant progress, including in areas that contribute to health such as having more secure employment, good quality homes and adequate welfare support for those who are struggling. Improving health needs to be a key consideration in all government policy and investment decisions, the vast majority of which have the potential to help or hinder efforts. The pandemic has laid bare the extent of underlying poor health in the UK, with tragic consequences. Good health is vital to the country’s prosperity and government cannot delay any further in investing in our future.’
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