Bradfordians enjoy fewer years of good health than those living anywhere else in the country, shocking new figures show.
People from inner-city Bradford are only expected to be healthy for around 52 years of their life – the lowest rate in England – and the city’s women fare worse than its men.
The Government statistics released yesterday also uncovered major regional differences across the country. Residents of Guildford and Waverley in leafy Surrey will enjoy nearly 20 more years of a healthy life than a Bradfordian, they show. This disparity is shocking, according to two of the city’s MPs and the leader of the Council. ‘Healthy life expectancy’ estimates the average number of years a person will spend in good or very good health. The figures are created by combining data on average overall life expectancies with people’s assessments of their own health, which they gave in the latest Census.
The data is broken down into the areas covered by each of the country’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), the GP-led bodies created in a health shake-up last year.
The Office for National Statistics, which released the data, said areas with low healthy life expectancies tended to be highly deprived, while areas with high healthy life expectancies were often far wealthier.
The Bradford City CCG has the worst figures in the whole of England. Here, the ‘healthy life’ expectancy for a man is just 52.5 years and 51.6 years for a woman. People from Bradford Districts CCG fare a little better, but are still below average, at a healthy life of 60.6 years for men and 61.3 years for women.
And people from Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are expected to have a longer-than-average healthy life, with men expected to enjoy 65.4 years in good health and women expected to have 66.9 years.
Bradford West MP George Galloway (Respect) called the figures “deeply, deeply shocking,” and said he had immediately contacted health secretary Jeremy Hunt about them.
He said: “Where you get poverty and deprivation you get early demise at both ends of the age scale and chronic ill-health. So it’s not surprising that Bradford comes out worse than stockbroker belt Guildford.
Mr Galloway said what was not explained was why Bradford had fared so much worse than similar cities.
He said: “I have today urgently demanded answers from the health minister about what research is being done to analyse Bradford’s special health problems, but, more to the point, what Jeremy Hunt is going to do about it.”
Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem), called the figures a “major concern”. He said: “The number of years that Bradfordians have compared to other areas of the county, in order to live healthy lives before they get some form of sickness, is truly shocking.
“However, what’s even more worrying is the massive differential between the CCGs within Bradford district itself.”
Dr Akram Khan, clinical chairman of Bradford City CCG said: “As a CCG we are determined to improve local people’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities, and to do this we have set out an ambitious programme which focuses on tackling the early number of deaths from heart and lung diseases and stroke. “Bradford City CCG is the most deprived CCG in the country. We have a strong focus on increasing access to health services for disadvantaged groups.”
Councillor David Green, leader of Bradford Council and chairman of Bradford and Airedale Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “It’s a shocking statistic and highlights the concerns that we have been expressing for a number of years about health inequalities not just for Bradford but across the country.”