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Major new report connects North’s poor health with poor productivity

Poor health has been linked with the North’s poor productivity for the first time in a major new report by six northern universities.

Health for Wealth: Building a Healthier Northern Powerhouse for UK Productivity was commissioned by the Northern Health Science Alliance to look at the relationship between the North’s poorer health and its poorer productivity.

The report will be launched on November 20 at an event in Newcastle with lead author of the report, Clare Bambra Professor of Public Health at Newcastle University, Dame Jackie Daniel CEO of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Metro Mayor of Tees Valley Ben Houchen, Leader of Newcastle Council Nick Forbes and CEO of the NHSA Dr Hakim Yadi. 

Tackling health inequalities between the North and South would put an extra £13.2bn into the economy according to the report.

Improving health in the North would lead to substantial economic gains, reducing the £4 gap in productivity per-person per-hour between the Northern Powerhouse and the rest of England by 30% or £1.20 per-person per-hour.

Report lead author Professor Bambra said: “This report demonstrates the connection between poor productivity and higher rates of ill health in the North. If you improve health in the North you will improve its productivity – potentially benefiting the whole of the UK’s economy.

“For the Northern Powerhouse to reach its full potential there needs to be increased investment in place-based public health in local authorities. There needs to be increased NHS funding in the North, spent on prevention services and health science research.

“Work needs to be done to improve labour market participation and job retention among people with a health condition in the region. Poorer health in the North affects the entire country’s economy, a healthier Northern Powerhouse will mean a healthier UK economy.”

To read the full article please visit the Newcastle University website.

To read the full report please click here.

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