Children born in these two areas of South Tyneside have a ten-year difference in expectancy, according to new figures

A girl born in the most affluent parts of the borough can expect to live more than a decade longer than a boy from Simonside and Rekendyke, the poorest area, according to latest figures.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 11:57 am
South Shields Town Hall.

Town hall chiefs have been urged to try a new approach to cutting the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived parts of South Tyneside.

Now a report for leaders has recommended ensuring health is considered in all decision making to try and narrow the gulf.

Coun Tracey Dixon, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council (STC), told bosses ‘social determinants’ have a high impact on families’ health in the borough.

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She said: “The report focuses on health and wellbeing without making reference to the NHS or social care because many experts agree social determinants of health are the most important factors in health and care services in ensuring a healthy population.

“We need to stop thinking that health is something we get from a GP or hospital, but instead something that starts in our families, schools, workplaces, parks, playgrounds and in the air we breathe and what we eat and drink.”

Coun Dixon was speaking at a meeting of STC’s ruling cabinet, where she presented the council’s Public Health Annual Report for 2019.

According to the paper, decision-makers should adopt a ‘health in all policies approach’, covering everything from housing and transport, to welfare, parks and renewable energy.

Across South Tyneside the average life expectancy is 77 for men and 81.5 for women.

But in Simonside this falls to 74.9 for men, compared to a high of 87.5 for a woman living in East Boldon.

Coun Dixon added: “Housing, transport, the physical environment, employment and welfare which are key in terms of our health and wellbeing.

“In South Tyneside we have made fantastic progress in improving the lives in the borough, but we know there is still more we can do.

“This report makes one overarching recommendation of all thematic recommendations and the introduction of a health in an all policies approach.

“South Tyneside Council has a unique role to play.”