The life expectancy gap between rich and poor people in England is widening, despite years of government and NHS action, a hard-hitting National Audit Office report reveals today.
Extensive efforts have failed to reduce the wide differential, which can still be 10 years or more depending on socio-economic background, says the public spending watchdog. While life expectancy has risen generally, it is increasing at a slower rate for England’s poorest citizens. In Blackpool, for example, men live for an average of 73.6 years, which is 10.7 fewer than men in Kensington and Chelsea in central London, who reach 84.3 years. Similarly, women in the Lancashire town typically die at 78.8 years – 10.1 years earlier than those in the London borough, who reach an average 89.9.