The health crisis 2010 to 2018: acclimatisation to a disaster

The health crisis 2010 to 2018: acclimatisation to a disaster

In the eight years since the May 2010 general election, the health of people living in the United Kingdom has faltered.


At first the only evidence came from surveys in which people started to say in greater numbers that their health was getting worse.

Trends in UK self-reported health

Trends in UK self-reported health


Then they started dying a little earlier than before, and then a lot earlier. By early 2018 we were seeing slowdowns in health improvements not experienced since at least the 1890s.


Quality and Clinical Risk Committee Paper – NHS England – October 2014


In some areas of the country life expectancy began to fall. It then fell for all the poorest of infants born in the country:


Infant mortality rate (95% confidence interval) by socio-economic classification 2008-2016. Link here:


However, whenever any suggestion was made that central government austerity and health policies might had an adverse impact on the health of the nations of the UK, these suggestions were always (and without exception) dismissed out-of-hand by the department of health media representatives as being preposterous.


Neonatal mortality rankings, European Union countries, 1990 to 2015

In this talk the story is told, some of the evidence presented and the question raised as to who in government did not know. Who might have known and did not care. And who knew, cared, but thought all this was a price worth paying for what they really wanted to happen to health and other public services. To privatise a service first you have to run it down.


Figure 1. Trends in life expectancy at birth, England and Wales, 1980–present (Source: Office for National Statistics).


From a talk given by Danny Dorling on July 30th 2018 at the Launch of the Socialist Health Association Oxfordshire branch. Barton Community Centre, Oxford. The talk begins with a discussion of this news story:


Details of Nicola Blackwood’s new role with private health care firm “Push Doctor”, Private Eye No. 1475, July 27 2018, p.15.