Marmot Review a wake-up call on importance of environmental health

25 February 2020, Ross Matthewman

CIEH has welcomed the publication of the Marmot Review as a wake-up call to government on the importance of Environmental Health.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot’s 172-page report, published a decade on from his landmark 2010 review, has warned that England's health is “faltering”.

Continuous improvement in life expectancy throughout the 20th century has “slowed dramatically, almost grinding to a halt” since 2011, the report warns, while “life expectancy actually fell in the most deprived communities outside London for women and in some regions for men”.

The report said that said that poverty, inequality and the politics of austerity were to blame for rising health inequalities.

Debbie Wood, Executive Director for Membership and External Affairs at CIEH, said:

“We strongly welcome the publication of this much-needed follow up to Sir Michael Marmot’s review of 2010. Much has changed since then and sadly not for the better. The report highlights the vital links between one’s environment, their health and their life chances. Protecting public health from all types of environmental impacts and stressors is exactly what the environmental health profession is all about.

Unfortunately, we know that environmental health posts at local authorities have been squeezed during the past 10 years, with limited resources meaning that some are forced into only operating a reactive service. This means that workplaces, food premises and privately rented homes do not get visited as often. We hope this important report will provide the Government and local authorities with compelling reasons to invest in environmental health practitioners.

The report also highlights the important role of a changing climate. There are opportunities to tackle both carbon emissions and inequalities if investment from government is increased and targeted. For example, by insulating homes and changing over to renewable heating sources for those living in fuel poverty, those on low incomes and those living with long term conditions, can benefit from improved health and lower bills.”


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