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Reaction to East Ayrshire having Scotland’s sixth worst healthy life expectancy

Reaction to East Ayrshire having Scotland's sixth worst healthy life expectancy

The figure, released last week by the Office for National Statistics, now stands at just 56.05 years.

Healthy life expectancy is described as “an estimate of lifetime spent in “very good” or “good” health, based on how individuals perceive their general health”.

The worst council area in Scotland was North Ayrshire, with a healthy life expectancy of just 55.7 years. The figure for South Ayrshire stood at 62.75, while the best in Scotland was Orkney at 74.35.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran said today: “Healthy life expectancy in Ayrshire is lower than other areas across the country and reflects the health and social inequalities that are unfortunately prevalent in post-industrial areas of Scotland.”

A spokesperson for East Ayrshire Council said: “In East Ayrshire we want to see everyone live long and healthy lives.

“A key measure for us is healthy life expectancy, which shows that for both males and females, East Ayrshire is below the Scottish average.

“There are a number of factors which affect healthy life expectancy, including poverty, poor health and unemployment.

“We recognise that we face significant challenges in respect of the wellbeing of our communities and much of our work through our Community Planning arrangements focuses on addressing economic and health inequalities, though a range of activity and investment in areas such as education, employability, housing, communities and health and social care.

“We will continue to provide opportunities for residents to improve their overall wellbeing, lead an active healthy life and make positive lifestyle choices.

“The local outcomes and priority actions which we take forward with our partners can be found in our Community Plan Delivery Plans.”

Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley SNP MSP Elena Whitham told the Chronicle: “While life expectancy in Scotland remains a concern, we are making progress in creating a healthier nation.

“The latest life expectancy statistics demonstrate clearly that an intersectional approach must be taken to address the many differing factors that contribute to health inequality.

“That is why the Scottish Government has taken action in areas such as providing free school meals to all P1-5s, continuing our national mission to reduce drug and alcohol-related deaths, creating a tobacco free generation by 2034, and tackling gender-based violence.

“Funding is also being provided at a local level. For example, Cumnock Juniors Community Enterprise has received £31,000 to support out-of-school clubs which give free access to sports for low income families.

“By collaborating at a government, local, and community level, we can make Scotland a healthier and wealthier country to grow up in.”

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