The rich get richer … and the poor get shorter lives, less choice, but more local care.

Update 20th December – Watch channel 4 on 22nd at 20.00 – Why the richer people in some parts of the UK are living up to 18 years longer than those in the poorer parts of the UK...

Richard Ford in The Times 19th December 2015 reports: The richer are getting richer faster. Social justice demands that we make treatment opportunities as equitable as we can afford.. Current structures ad practice may mean great differences in outcomes between different regions within the UK, if covert rationing continues. The natural sequitur will be a greater demand for private health cover, and premium differences reflecting the quality of treatments and outcome in your region. Are you willing to travel to get better care? Citizens who are well, and not patients, always vote for local services, but when it’s their nearest and dearest who are ill, and outcomes are better “away” they are always willing to travel. The paradox of the modern world and specialisation is that what we need is not necessarily what we want ……. until that inevitable and unforeseen medical crisis. Perhaps its a trade off: shorter lives and less money, but more convenience? The trouble is that specialist services are centralising.. It is going to become increasingly inconvenient and difficult to access the best care..

The richest households in Britain are getting richer while the financial resources of the poorest are growing much more slowly, according to official figures published yesterday.

Household Wealth

Soaring house prices are pushing up the assets of the wealthiest and those in the middle, helping to contribute to a growing wealth gap, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

UK Wealth

Chapter 2: Total wealth, Wealth in Great Britain, 2012 to 2014

Wealth and Assets – Early indicator estimates from the Wealth and Assets survey covering the period up to June 2015

Chapter 7: Extended Analyses, Wealth in Great Britain, 2012 to 2014

Chapter 6: Private pension wealth, Wealth in Great Britain, 2012 to 2014

Wealth in Great Britain Wave 4 – 2012 to 2014

Household total wealth: Summary statistics (Excel sheet 27Kb)

It reported that the richest 10 per cent now own 45 per cent of national household wealth — and that this group’s wealth is growing at three times the rate of the poorest 50 per cent.

The data looked at households’ personal wealth, which includes savings, property, private pensions and possessions. It found that the total national wealth was £11.1 billion in 2012/14 — an increase of 18 per cent compared with two years earlier.

Median households were £8,600 richer than two years earlier, with their wealth increasing from £216,500 to £225,100 between 2010-12 and 2012-14, the ONS said. But the difference in how households had fared was stark. The richest 10 per cent of households — all of whom had cash and assets worth more than £1.5 million — saw their personal wealth wise by 21 per cent over the period.

That was three times the average growth seen by the bottom 50 per cent, which had an average rise of 7 per cent.

“While total wealth was seen to increase for each of the wealth bands, the disparity in the change was large,” the ONS said.

“The distribution of wealth is highly skewed towards the top.”

It also showed how concentrated the country’s riches are in the southeast, with 22 per cent of households in the region among the wealthiest 10 per cent overall.

In comparison, only 2 per cent of households in the northeast and 4 per cent of households in Wales held sufficient wealth to fall into the top bracket.

Private pensions accounted for 40 per cent of total wealth nationally, though once again, large disparities emerged. The top 10 per cent boast a median pension wealth of £749,000, compared with £2,800 for those in the bottom half, the ONS said.

More than two in five households (43 per cent) in the least wealthy half of the distribution had no private pension wealth at all, they added.

Researchers suggested that less well-off households had invested the bulk of their wealth in their family homes, saying that property made the largest contribution to the total wealth of the bottom half of households. Only half of those in that group owned any property, however.

The figures also showed that half of households with a mortgage on their main residence owed £83,000 or more between July 2012 and June 2014.

Kate Pickett in the Independent 25th October 2013: Health inequality is blighting the UK

Health is Wealth: How parts of Britain are now poorer than POLAND with families in Wales and Cornwall among Europe’s worst off

Stop the NHS runaway train before it’s too late. The health service is consuming all our wealth ..

The Election. Health v Wealth? Or a more balanced approach…

Health is closely correlated to Wealth – If you are poor you get no choice (Wales), and live a shorter life, but if you are rich, or born abroad, you live longer and you do get choice! So much for equity…

Inequality revisited.

Deprivation differences…. especially across the UK – revisited





This entry was posted in A Personal View, NHS managers, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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