Latest data reveals 10-year gap in life expectancy across Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 16:12 09 May 2018

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Your child could die almost ten years earlier than others in the borough depending on what Welwyn Hatfield ward you live in, according to official statistics.

Estimates released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal a significant disparity in life expectancies between Welwyn Hatfield wards.

All figures quoted below compare the life expectancies by ward of girls and boys born between 2009 and 2013.

The best male outlook is in Welwyn East, where the estimate is 84.5 years, nearly a full decade longer than boys in Hatfield South who can expect to live 74.8 years.

There is an even bigger gap between girls in Welwyn East, who can expect to almost reach 91, and Hatfield South girls who may not even reach the age of 79.

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The national average for men is 79.1, and for women it’s 82.9.

A majority of Welwyn Hatfield wards will outlive the national average.

People living in Howlands, Hollybush, Peartree, Hatfield Villages, and Hatfield South all have a lower life expectancy than the national average.

Boys in Haldens can also expect to die earlier than the national average, albeit by just ten weeks.

Nationwide, the rate of increase in life expectancy has slowed in recent years.

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps said: “I think the stats are very interesting and concerning.

“Given the same NHS operates across the constituency, you wouldn’t imagine such large discrepancies.

“In the past I’ve discussed differences in life expectancy with clinical experts and they have told me that it is very closely linked to lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise.

“I am nonetheless interested to understand whether these are the factors at play here in Welwyn Hatfield or whether we need to look more closely at the differentials.”

He plans to contact the East and North Herts Clinical Commissioning Group about the issue.

The CCG declined to offer a comment to the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

Labour borough councillor for Hatfield Villages Tara-Mary Lyons said: “Your data clearly demonstrates that austerity’s role looms large on our doorstep in Welwyn Hatfield.

“Government-imposed austerity in 2010 brought about deep cuts in our NHS and social care spending and stalled a century-long rise in life expectancy.

“In Welwyn Hatfield we’ve seen council budget cuts of 63 per cent.

“These cuts hugely impact areas like Hatfield.

“Little wonder that we are seeing these figures. An unequal borough with a withered municipality that is simply unable to level life’s playing field is dangerous for us all.”

Jim MacManus, Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council said, “Life expectancy for both men and women in Welwyn Hatfield is higher than the England average.

“The county council works closely with the NHS, district and borough councils, and a range of other partner organisations to tackle causes of poorer health which impact on life expectancy rates, such as excess weight, lack of physical activity, smoking, and poor housing.

“In Hertfordshire, we run a number of projects and awareness campaigns to encourage healthier lifestyles among our residents, such as support to stop smoking and lifestyle guidance on keeping a healthy weight.

“This week we have launched our new ‘Never Too Late’ campaign aimed at encouraging older people to benefit from the range of physical activity opportunities across the county.

“All the steps we are taking to encourage our residents to help themselves can make a big difference to their quality of life and could potentially save the NHS millions of pounds in the future.”

To find out more about the Never Too Late initiative, see www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/health-in-herts/keep-active/never-too-late/never-too-late.aspx

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