Health

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:55 pm on 14th May 2019.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health 3:55 pm, 14th May 2019

It most certainly does. We are seeing a huge rise in the number of children living in poverty and an explosion not just in food bank use but in so-called baby banks, where parents arrive to pick up toys, nappies, and so on—even milk. It really is quite shameful.

We are also seeing an increase in the prevalence of mental health conditions among the poorest. Children and adults in the poorest areas are three times more likely to suffer mental health problems. We are also now seeing an increase in so-called “deaths of despair” for those in middle age, that is, deaths from suicide, drug and alcohol overdose, and alcohol liver disease. They are rising—[Interruption.] The Secretary of State says that that is not true, but it is in the report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies today.

Rates of premature mortality, including deaths linked to heart disease, lung cancers, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are two times higher in the most deprived areas of England compared with the most affluent. Growing up and living in poverty means people get sick quicker and die sooner. It is shameful.