In the eight years since the May 2010 general election, the health of people living in the United Kingdom has faltered. At first the only evidence came from surveys in which people started to say in greater numbers that their health was getting worse. Then they started dying a little earlier than before, and then a lot earlier. By early 2018 we were seeing slowdowns in health improvements not experienced since at least the 1890s.

In some areas of the country life expectancy began to fall. It then fell for all the poorest of infants born in the country.

Infant mortality rate (95% confidence interval) by socio-economic classification 2008-2016.

However, whenever any suggestion was made that central government austerity and health policies might had an adverse impact on the health of the nations of the UK, these suggestions were always (and without exception) dismissed out-of-hand by the department of health media representatives as being preposterous suggestions.

In this talk the story is told, some of the evidence presented and the question raised as to who in government did not know. Who might have known and did not care. And who knew, cared, but thought all this was a price worth paying for what they really wanted to happen to health and other public services. To privatise a service first you have to run it down.

Danny Dorling speaking on the public health record of the 2010-2018 UK Government, Bristol Population Health Science Institute Annual Stephen Frankel Lecture, University of Bristol, June 7th 2018.