ONS data provides further evidence of the unequal impact that COVID-19 is continuing to wreak Health Foundation response to ONS data on COVID-19 related deaths by occupation in England and Wales and Healthy life expectancy in different local authorities in the UK

25 January 2021

Responding to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on COVID-19 related deaths by occupation in England and Wales and Healthy life expectancy in different local authorities in the UK, Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, said: 

'Data published today provides further evidence of the unequal impact that COVID-19 is continuing to wreak, particularly on people in lower paid occupations, and very noticeably in men. The pandemic is having a severe impact on people working in social care, in leisure services, and other manual workers. 

'There needs to be far more scrutiny of the protection that is currently in place for those who are at higher risk from the COVID-19 due to their occupation and financial support for those who need to self-isolate – particularly those who are economically vulnerable. 

'Data also published today restates the stark fact that the gains in the extra years we can expect to live in good health have slowed, and even reversed for women. This is a common trend across most developed countries, but most marked in the UK and US. Coordinated serious action at all levels of government is now urgently needed to tackle these long run trends. This means addressing the factors that are tearing at the fabric of people’s health and wellbeing, including low income, precarious low-quality work, unemployment, and inadequate welfare benefits.'

Find out more

The Health Foundation has launched the COVID-19 impact inquiry to explore the pandemic’s implications for health and health inequalities in the UK. Reporting in summer 2021, it will consider how people’s experience of the pandemic was influenced by health and existing inequalities as well as the likely impact of measures to control the virus on people’s health and health inequalities. 

Media contact

Simon Perry
Simon.Perry@health.org.uk
020 7257 2093

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