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Dartford residents more likely to die from avoidable causes, according to study

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 June 2018

NHS ‘risk zones’ were identified across the country, and Dartford made the list. Picture: Google

NHS ‘risk zones’ were identified across the country, and Dartford made the list. Picture: Google

Archant

Residents in north Kent are 29per cent more likely to die from avoidable causes than the national average, according to a new study.

Research undertaken by the Centre for Progressive Policy (CPP) indentified 32 NHS “risk zones” across the country, where the NHS trusts are dealing with cuts alongside low life expectancy.

Dartford and Medway both made the list due to the unprecendented financial pressure and severe funding cuts.

In these areas, the average male life expectancy is lower than the national average.

Due to a combination of the financial burden of the healthcare service as well as the deprivation in the areas, the CPP found that residents had a higher chance of dying from a preventable death than in other areas.

Preventable deaths include those caused by lifestyle choices such as alcohol abuse, smoking or obesity.

Stella Jones, communications manager from NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We are aware that health inequalities exist within our CCG area, along with many other CCG areas across the country, and are we constantly working to tackle these as priorities.

“We work closely with NHS provider trusts whose services we commission to ensure that the best possible care is given to all patients.

“Alongside regulators, we closely monitor their financial performance to ensure that the best use is made of NHS funding and the highest possible standards of care are maintained.

“Working with the trusts, we are always looking at ways in which care for patients can be improved.”

CPP has dubbed Canterbury as a “crunch zone” as it has an ageing population, but not enough social care resources to meet the demand.

The research suggests that if the situation in crunch zones do not improve they could become risk zones.

To tackle this epidemic, the CPP suggest that these trusts should receive a 10pc rise in funding for those areas to reach the national standard.

The experts believe this boost would improve cancer treatment and increase the number of patients being seen within 18 months for routine operations.

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