Intended for healthcare professionals


UK could have averted 240 000 deaths in 2010s if it matched other European nations, report finds

BMJ 2023; 382 doi: (Published 12 September 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;382:p2092
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

The UK has fallen far behind its international peers on a range of health outcomes and major policy reforms are required to reverse this, a report1 has concluded.

Analysts from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) calculated that there would have been 240 000 fewer deaths in the UK between 2010 and 2020 if the UK matched average avoidable mortality in comparable European nations.

The report says the UK’s poor outcomes are partly down to people’s inability to access healthcare in a timely manner, a problem that has intensified since the pandemic.

To tackle this, the progressive think tank has put forward a 10 point plan to shift the NHS from a sickness service to a prevention service. It says primary care should be placed at the heart of a “prevention first” NHS with a nationwide rollout of neighbourhood health hubs to deliver integrated health and care services in every local area.

Former health minister Ara Darzi, co-chair of the IPPR Commission on Health and Prosperity, said, “Too many people are struggling to get high quality care when they need it most. …

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