Doncaster among worst areas for premature deaths

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Doncaster is among the worst parts of the country for premature deaths, according to NHS figures published today.

The “shocking” local variation in early death rates has been exposed today by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to drive public awareness and boost council and NHS action to tackle public health problems.

Doncaster is ranked 114th out of 150 local authority areas in the country in a report by Public Heath England, which says there were 3,157 premature deaths from 2009 to 2011.

For cancer, there were 127 premature deaths per 100,000 of population (ranked 132nd). For heart disease and strokes the figure was 71 (ranked 96th). The number for lung disease was 34 per 100,000, (ranked 131st) and for liver disease the figure was 17 (ranked 90th).

The figures are part of ‘Longer Lives’, a new Public Health England website which allows local people to see easily how their areas perform on early deaths from the major four killers, like heart disease and cancer, and how this varies across the country.

Using a traffic-light rating system, it ranks areas showing those performing above average in tackling avoidable deaths as green, and exposes the worst that are lagging behind and need to do more as red. Doncaster and all of South Yorkshire are shaded red on the map.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This shocking variation in early and unnecessary deaths means people’s lives are needlessly cut short, and that cannot continue unchecked.

“I want areas to use the data released today to identify local public health challenges like smoking, drinking and obesity and to take action to help achieve our ambition for saving 30,000 lives a year by 2020.

“Being more transparent will also allow professionals and the public to see how their local area is performing over time, allowing them to intervene and make improvements happen.”