BMJ article: ‘Impact on health inequalities of rising prosperity in England 1998-2007, and implications for performance incentives’

This article written by Ben Barr, David Taylorr-Robinson and Margaret Whitehead conludes that decreases in unemployment and increases in average income in an area explained, to a large extent, why some local authorities “performed” better than others.

Health inequalities between Spearhead and all local authorities widened during the period of rising prosperity, but they would have widened to an even greater extent had unemployment not fallen at a faster rate in more deprived areas. With worsening economic trends over the next 10 years, this research suggests that increases in life expectancy are likely to be smaller and health inequalities may widen at a faster rate than in the previous decade. Allocating resources to local authorities on the basis of their “performance” at increasing life expectancy is likely to reward more affluent areas rather than disadvantaged areas with greater needs, exacerbating the problem.

Click here to download the article (pdf format).