Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responds to an annual report published today by the Office for National Statistics on preventable deaths in the UK in 2016.
“In the 21st century, a huge part of the burden of ill health is avoidable. About a third of all deaths are classed as premature – they could have been prevented by lifestyle changes undertaken at an earlier time of life. That equates to 44 years of lost life per 1,000 people or 2.6 million years each year across England and Wales.
“This is why councils, who are responsible for public health, need more funding to invest in prevention and early intervention measures to help reduce the risk of people having their lives shortened by conditions such as heart and liver disease, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.
“There also needs to be an urgent focus on tackling the social determinants of health to reduce demand on high-cost health, care and welfare services in order to make significant savings to the public purse and to help people to live longer, healthier and happier lives.
"To help councils reduce avoidable deaths, we urge government to reverse reductions to councils’ public health budgets.”