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Health Equals Members Rally Support for The Times Health Commission Report

12 March 2024


Our organisations work to create the building blocks for good health – from affordable homes, to stable jobs, clean air, neighbourhoods with green space, and social connections. We have come together in the coalition Health Equals to campaign for a new Bill of Health. We welcome The Times Health Commission’s focus on the growing challenge facing the UK when it comes to life expectancy, and we support your call on all parties to commit to reducing health inequalities as a legally binding target in their manifestos at the next election.

Britain saw average life expectancy increase from just 46 in the early 1900s to around 80 years by 2011. These improvements stalled in the 2010s and went backwards in the pandemic. Inequalities in health have been entrenched and exacerbated. The gap between places with the highest and lowest life expectancy was 7.4 years in 2017–19 and it grew to 8.7 years in 2020–22 (new analysis by The Health Foundation of ONS data).  More deprived areas, and those in the north, tend to have the shortest life expectancy. The same places also suffer higher rates of long-term sickness. Such wide geographic inequalities in health hold back prosperity and cut lives short.


1. Paul McDonald, Chief Campaigns Officer, Health Equals

2. Jo Bibby, Director of Health, Health Foundation

3. Will Snell, Chief Executive, Fairness Foundation

4. Andy Bell, Chief Executive, Centre for Mental Health

5. Jabeer Butt OBE, Chief Executive, Race Equality Foundation

6. Joan Edwards OBE, Director Policy and Public Affairs, Wildlife Trusts

7. William Roberts, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health

8. Larissa Lockwood, Director of Clean Air, Global Action Plan

9. Tony Wilson, Director, Institute for Employment Studies

10. Anna Taylor, Executive Director, Food Foundation

11. Naomi Phillips, Deputy Chief Executive, Learning and Work Institute

12. Frank Soodeen, Director of Communications and Public Engagement, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

13. Osama Bhutta, Director of Communications, Policy & Campaigns, Shelter

14. Jennifer Walters, Executive Director of Social Change, Mind

15. Sal Copley, Executive Director of Communications and External Affairs, British Red Cross

16. John Hume, Chief Executive, People’s Health Trust

17. Chris Thomas, Head of the Commission on Health and Prosperity, IPPR

18. Duncan Shrubsole, Director of Policy, Communications and Research, Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales

19. Dan Corry, Chief Executive, New Philanthropy Capital

20. Thomas Abrams, Co-Head of Health, ShareAction


Originally posted in Letters to the Editor on The Times website 

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