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  1. ITV Report

Report author 'seriously worried' about life expectancy of people in the North East

By Kris Jepson

The author of a report into the health of people in England, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, has told ITV News he is "seriously worried" about the life expectancy of people in the North East.

His report, Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 years on, found an increase in the North-South health gap, with the largest decreases in life expectancy for both men and women were seen in the most deprived 10 per cent of neighbourhoods in the North East and the largest increases in the least deprived 10 per cent of neighbourhoods in London.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

The report found overall life expectancy in England had stalled since 2010 with the lowest in the North East and highest in London.

It also found the life expectancy of the poorest women in England had fallen in the past decade as the health gap widened between the most and least deprived parts of the country.

Sir Michael told ITV News that austerity measures introduced by the government have contributed to “flatlining" life expectancy for the first time in 100 years and worsening health inequalities over the past 10 years.

I'm seriously worried about the North East. In fact, people in Newcastle, from local government, say 'we've been cut so much that we can barely meet our statutory responsibilities', so improving the economic fortunes of people in the North East is vital, but so is providing the kinds of services that can support them.

– Prof Sir Michael Marmot
Inequality report Credit: ITV News

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock acknowledged the findings of the report and insisted the government's new "levelling up" agenda, which aims at improving the North East economy, should also include "levelling up" the health and wellbeing of people living in the region.

We’re absolutely determined to tackle it. The NHS has got a role to play in that. The experts reckon about a quarter of the impact on healthy life expectancy is what happens in the NHS, but its also about the environment, levels of air pollution for instance, and the choices that people make, whether you smoke or drink too much, so there’s a whole series of action that needs to be taken, right across the board and we’re determined to drive this agenda.

– Matt Hancock MP, Health Secretary