If you think of health in the UK as a fabric, it is the most threadbare in Glasgow.
Here, life expectancy is lowest, and one in four men will die before their sixty-fifth birthday. But even after adjusting for poverty and deprivation, next to comparable deindustrialised cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, Glaswegians have a 30% risk of dying prematurely. That’s from cancer heart disease stroke as well as deaths of despair
: suicide, drugs alcohol. It isn’t getting any better, and that’s not even taking into account the pandemic.
In this episode, we explore:
- What is fraying health to this degree in Glasgow?
- What is being done to help?
- And what can we all learn from Glasgow’s longstanding efforts to try to mend the health fabric, as we all attempt to build back better after the pandemic?
Our Chief Executive Dr Jennifer Dixon
discusses this with two expert guests who have for many years been central to this story:
Dr David Walsh is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, and a senior academic at the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Over the years David has carried out a large body of work aimed at understanding Scotland’s (and Glasgow’s) high levels of ‘excess’ mortality, deindustrialisation and health across European regions, and the impact of government ‘austerity’ measures on mortality.
Sir Harry Burns is the Professor of Global Public Health, University of Strathclyde. Harry was the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland for almost ten years from September 2005 to April 2014, and is well known for his tireless work on health inequalities. He is a member of the Council of Economic Advisers in Scotland.
- Walsh D, Bendel N, Jones R, Hanlon P. Investigating a 'Glasgow effect'. Glasgow Centre for Population Health; 2016.
- Walsh D, McCartney G, Collins C, Taulbut M, Batty GD. History, politics and vulnerability: explaining excess mortality in Scotland and Glasgow. Glasgow Centre for Population Health; 2016.
- Walsh D, Lowther M, McCartney G, Reid K. Policy recommendations for population health: progress and challenges. Glasgow Centre for Population Health; 2016.
- Dixon J, Everest G. The government’s levelling up agenda: An opportunity to improve health in England. The Health Foundation; 2021.
- Suleman M, Sonthalia S, Webb C, Tinson A, Kane M, Bunbury S, Finch D, Bibby J. Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery: The COVID-19 impact inquiry report. The Health Foundation; 2021.