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Medway in a national context

Summary :: Our health inequalities :: Medway in a national context

Each year Public Health England (PHE) produce a set of key indicators of the social determinants of health, health outcomes and social inequality for each local authority. These broadly compare to the policy recommendations outlines in the Marmot review and can be found on the Wider Determinants of Health tool.

In addition, PHE also publish the Public Health Outcomes Framework, encompassing indicators surrounding wider determinants of health; health improvement; health protection; and healthcare and premature mortality. These can be viewed at a local, regional and national level, as well as allowing insight into inequalities by providing the ability to breakdown certain indicators by gender and deprivation decile.

Some of the key indicators relating to health inequalities in Medway have been listed below:

Life expectancy

Life expectancy at birth measures the average number of years a person would expect to live if the morality rate remains constant. Life expectancy at birth in England has generally increased in recent decades. While Medway has experienced similar increases, life expectancy at birth has decreased over the last few years by 0.3 years for males and 0.4 years for females (2011-13 to 2013-15).

Life expectancy in Medway is consistently below that of the national average in both sexes. In 2013-15 the life expectancy at birth for males was 78.4 years in Medway, compared to 79.5 years in England (PHOF). For females during the same time period life expectancy at birth was 82.0 years in Medway and 83.1 years in England (PHOF).

Healthy life expectancy

In 2013-15 the number of years that a man living in Medway would expect to live in good health was 61.8 years. This figure has remained relatively consistent over the last few years and is similar to that seen across England (63.4 years; PHOF). Conversely, female healthy life expectancy (HLE) in Medway has fallen in the last few years to 59.7 years in 2013-15, taking it significantly below the England average of 64.1 years (PHOF).

Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD)

In England much work has been done to develop robust methods of measuring deprivation resulting in the creation of the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). This index comprises seven domains: income; employment; education, skills and training; health and disability; crime; barriers to housing and services; and living environment.[1] Medway is currently ranked 118 out of 326 local authorities in England; where 1 is the most deprived and 326 is the least deprived (rank of average IMD 2015 score).[2]

Children in poverty

The Marmot review (2010) suggests that childhood poverty can lead to premature mortality and poor health outcomes in adulthood. Therefore, reducing the level of child poverty should also improve health outcomes in adults as well as healthy life expectancy. The percentage of dependent children under the age of 20 years in relative poverty in Medway is higher than the national average (20.8% versus 19.9% in 2014) (PHOF). This pattern has been evident since 2011 as numbers in Medway have remained consistently higher than those seen nationally. Similarly the percentage of children under the age of 16 years in Medway in low income families is also higher than the national average (21.4% versus 20.1% in 2014) (PHOF).

A list of child health profiles can be found on Public Health England, Child and Maternal Health, covering pregnancy and birth; early years; school-age children; and young people.


[1]   Smith T, Noble M, Noble S, et al. English Indices of Deprivation 2015; Department for Communities and Local Government. .
[2]   Medway Council. Index of Deprivation 2015 February, .