A new commitment has been made to help people in England live longer in good health.
The Centre for Ageing Better and Public Health England have joined forces to help the government achieve its ambitions for everyone to have five extra years of healthy and independent life.
The strategic partnership, confirmed through a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), will see “evidence-based public health interventions” implemented at a national, regional and local level.
Data shows that while people are now living longer, they are not always able to make the most of it.
According to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, average life expectancy for men in the UK is now 79.2 years while for women it is 82.9 years.
However, men on average can expect to live 16.1 years of their lives in poor health, and women 19.3 years.
The figures also show a person’s outlook for their later years varies depending on where they live.
For example, a 65-year-old woman in Southwark can expect to live another 17.8 years in good health, but in Nottingham she would get just 6.8 years.
Dr Anna Dixon, chief executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, a charity that aims to improve later life, said: “Our increased longevity represents a huge medical and public health success. We should take pride in the fantastic achievements that have led to us having longer lives.
Anna Dixon, Centre for Ageing Better
“However, despite this, many people spend a significant proportion of those extra years in poor health, or managing a disability which could have been prevented, and there are huge inequalities in healthy life expectancy across the country.
“We must bridge the gap between rich and poor and ensure everyone is given the chance to enjoy a later life which is healthy, active and fulfilling.”
Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: “Having a reason to get up in the morning, something meaningful to do, enough money to live on and friendship in your life are all really important to staying well and ageing well.
“With people living longer in poorer health we all need to work together to support people to enjoy their lives in better health for longer.”
The MoU comes into effect today and was signed by Lord Geoffrey Filkin, chair of the Centre for Ageing Better, and Mr Selbie.
The two organisations will work collaboratively for an initial period of five years, with the agreement to be reviewed annually.