Life expectancy cut by 10 years in Pendle’s deprived areas

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MEN living in the most deprived areas of Pendle can expect to die more than a decade before those living in the least deprived areas, shocking figures have revealed.

According to Health Profiles, recent statistics produced by the Public Health Observatories, and funded by the Department of Health, life expectancy for men and women in the borough is “significantly worse” than the England average.

For men living in areas such as Foulridge, Old Laund Booth and Earby, it is predicted they will live 12.4 years longer than those in places such as Bradley, Southfield and Brierfield. Deprivation figures have been obtained from Multiple Deprivation Summaries, found on Pendle Council’s website.

The trend is also mirrored for Pendle women, with those living in deprived areas, such as Clover Hill and Whitefield, expected to die nearly 10 years before those in wards including Higham and Blacko.

Responding to the figures, Dr Phil Huxley, Clinical Lead for Pendle Locality at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group said priorities within Pendle are regularly reviewed, and the CCG are committed to improving the health of the local population.

He added: “We are committed to using any available evidence, including patients’ experiences and the expertise of our local doctors, nurses and other clinicians, to ensure that we commission (plan and buy) the best health services possible.

“We know we face major challenges in tackling the significant levels of health inequalities and poor health not only in Pendle but East Lancashire also.

“Although we are required to make savings of £56m. over the next three years, we are investing significantly into our community services.”

Health Profiles has been designed to help local government and health services understand their community’s needs, so they can work to improve people’s health and reduce health inequalities.

Out of 32 topics, in categories including “Children’s and young people’s health” and “Disease and poor health”, Pendle is only considered to be above average in four — statutory homelessness, violent crime, acute sexually transmitted infections and long-term unemployment. It is said to be significantly worse in 15 areas and not significantly different in 13.

The main problems that need to be tacked are listed as deprivation, child poverty, GCSE achievements, smoking while pregnant, breast feeding initiation, alcohol-specific hospital stay for under 18s, teenage pregnancy for under 18s, hospital stays for self-harm, hospital stays for alcohol-related harm, drug misuse, people diagnosed with diabetes, new cases of tuberculosis, life expectancy for men, life expectance for women, and infant deaths.

And while mortality rates have fallen over the last 10 years, about 17.2% of Year 6 children in Pendle are classified as obese, an estimated 24.9% of adults smoke and 24.3% are said to be obese.

Coun. Tony Beckett, executive member for health, said: “Particular issues for Pendle include coronary heart disease, alcohol and drug misuse and infant mortality. We also work to address health inequalities between people in different parts of Pendle.

“We’re also committed to raising standards in privately rented housing, which can contribute to residents’ health. And just this week executive councillors have approved a programme of work to tackle fuel poverty, another issue impacting on people’s health.”

And Dr Huxley added: “We work hard in partnership with our colleagues across not only different health sectors but social care as well, as we recognise that social issues such as poor housing, unemployment and high levels of deprivation can all impact on a person’s health.”