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Jo Bibby, Director of Health at the Health Foundation, said:

‘The latest IPPR report states that poor health of all kinds is undermining the UK economy – with six in 10 people who are economically inactive because of long-term illness living with a mental health problem. These findings point to a deeply concerning picture of the nation’s health and compound our concern that for the first time since the industrial revolution, after a century of rapid progression, health and well-being in the UK are at risk of going backwards. And this decline is at risk of worsening if not urgently addressed.

‘Our analysis found that nearly one in four people who are economically inactive because of ill-health want or are seeking to return to work but are unable to. This is a distressing position for people who want paid work, especially as we know workers inactive due to poor health are more likely to come from the lowest-paid occupations.

‘To get the country back on its feet, the government must follow through on its commitment to improving life expectancy in the most deprived areas. However, this can only be achieved via concerted action across all government departments. We must work towards a more holistic economic growth strategy acknowledging that health and wealth are inextricably linked. And where health is firmly seen as an asset to be invested in.’

Media contact
Billie Morgan
020 7257 8001 / mobile: 0790 8637 666

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