Researchers from health charities, NHS bodies and more than 20 northern universities are forming a new alliance to solve the widening health gap between the North and the rest of England.
The Northern Universities’ Public Health Alliance (NUPHA) will investigate the reality behind new figures showing that in two thirds (66 per cent) of areas in the North, women’s life expectancy is lower than the South’s lowest female life expectancy.
The data also revealed that men in 86 per cent of Northern councils are expected to die younger than England’s average, rising to 88 per cent for women.
Newcastle University’s Professor David Burn, chair of the Northern Health Science Alliance, said the health inequalities across the North are “entrenched and worsening”.
A third of the productivity gap between the North and the rest of the UK is due to ill health, losing £13.2bn from the economy each year.
Professor Burn added: “Tackling the North’s ill health is vital to growing a vibrant UK economy – an investment in the health of the North is an investment in the entire country, equipping it to move forward into a truly vibrant 21st century economy.”