It drops by two years for each of the 5 miles between the places.
The average life expectancy for someone living in Bingley can be ten years more than someone living in some parts of Bradford, just five miles away.
This was the stark analogy a GP gave to councillors to highlight the health inequalities between different areas of the Bradford district.
Members of Bradford Council’s Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee were discussing how the local health body would be using just over £9 million in funding allocated to improving health in the Bradford City area.
During the presentation by Dr Sohail Abbas, from the Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group, members were told how there were huge variations in health in different areas of the district.
He said: “If you start in Bingley and travel towards Bradford, for every mile you travel you lose about two years of life expectancy.”
He said the life expectancy for someone living in Bingley was 84, while life expectancy in areas of Bradford, just five miles away, was 74.
The area’s Clinical Commissioning Groups are soon to merge to create one large group for Bradford and Craven. As the City area of Bradford has poorer health outcomes, the new groups will safeguard funding to be spent on improving health in that area.
City will get an extra £14 million due to a new increased funding formula. Around £9.2m of this has yet to be allocated – and Thursday’s meeting discussed how this money would be spent.
The focus will be on three areas
-Pre-conception, maternity and children
-Work to prevent early death associated primarily with cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and cancer
-Ageing and dying well.
The projects will involve work in inner city areas to encourage people to stop smoking and live healthier lifestyles.
Projects proposed include a new weight management service for children and
adolescents, a project to look at the increased genetic risk associated with close relative marriage, work to improving health for homeless people and culturally appropriate bowel screening messaging.
Some members of the committee pointed out that there had been similar funding schemes and projects in the past that hadn’t led to improved health in the poorest areas of Bradford.
Councillor Paul Godwin (Lab, Keighley West) said: “I’d like to know how you think you’ll tackle weight management in children. Will you be explaining to people that their child is, in fact, fat rather than letting them think they are normal weight?”
Dr Abbas said work would be done with schools and school nurses as well as families to deal with child obesity.
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) said many of the projects being suggested were not new. She argued that more needed to be done to tackle lifestyle issues, like children living inactive, sedentary lives. She said: “I’m just concerned that this money might just be going to pay for extra staff on things that isn’t new.
“I just worry this won’t solve the problem – it won’t get to the root cause of why we have these inequalities.
“We should be looking to do something really different. I’m just disappointed as I wanted to see this go to some completely different way of doing things. You need to make a whole system change to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Dr Abbas said the focus was on what was killing people prematurely in Bradford, and added: “As a CCG we are just a cog in the system. It is important the CCG work with the Local Authority to be on the same page and deliver the same message.
“I’m hoping this funding won’t be the movement itself but the start of the movement.”