Covid–19 is ‘hitting the poorest hardest’: The King's Fund responds to new data from the Office for National Statistics

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Commenting on new analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Covid-19 deaths and deprivation, David Buck, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:

‘The ONS data shows that Covid–19 follows the pattern of nearly all other illnesses in hitting the poorest hardest. While this is a shock, it is not a surprise – before the coronavirus crisis, men living in the most deprived areas of England could expect to live nine years less than those in the wealthiest areas. We also know that people in deprived areas are more likely to have long-term health conditions, spending, on average, a far greater part of their already shorter lives in poor health.

‘Tackling these deep-rooted inequalities, and any further inequalities that may emerge due to coronavirus, will require cross-government action through a new national strategy. This is not impossible – evidence shows that the last Labour government made progress in tackling health inequalities by adopting just such an approach.’


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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.