AN ‘alarming’ study into Barnsley residents’ life expectancy rates has revealed another decrease in both male and female ages - prompting healthcare bosses to confirm the town’s gap is widening when compared to the national picture.

Life expectancy at birth for males is 77.1 years - a reduction of 0.8 years in just 12 months - while females register a slightly higher average of 81.1 years, which is also lower than the previous 81.8, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Meanwhile, national rates of 79.1 for males and 83 for females have been confirmed, however Penistone East’s figures of 83.1 for men and 86.1 for females buck the trend.

A Barnsley Hospital report said: “Sadly, things aren’t improving - trends show a reduction in both measures, which should cause the alarm bells to ring.

“They also show a persistent gap across both measures between Barnsley and both region and country - a gap that appears to be widening, especially in men.

“These differences represent underlying and undue suffering for people, families and communities, suffering which all parts of the health, care and wider system can do more to address.

“They also represent a disutility for all sectors and development ambitions - beyond the suffering, they cause loss of productivity in school and work, and a disease burden that heightens the need for care services which already lack capacity and resource.

“Due to social, economic and environmental circumstances and other characteristics outside of their control, real people living in Barnsley are likely to spend more of their day-to-day lives in poor-health than people in other areas of the UK and are more likely to die younger.”

The investigation also shows people in Barnsley experience ill health sooner and for longer in than other parts of the UK, with a 19-year difference in male healthy life expectancy between Barnsley and Rutland.

“People living in the Barnsley ward - Worsbrough - with the shortest life expectancy live almost eight years shorter than in those in the Penistone East ward which has the highest life expectancy,” the report added.

“In England, people from the most deprived ten per cent of the population have a life expectancy at birth that is between 7.7 and 9.4 years less than those from the most affluent ten per cent and will live between 18.4 to 19.7 years longer in ill health.

“These differences are apparent when we compare the population of Barnsley with the average

population of England and even more so when we compare Barnsley to the most affluent parts of the country.

“This also occurs when we look within Barnsley, where stark differences in health

occur between different communities, groups and wards across the borough.

“With increasing deprivation people will live a shorter life and spend more time in ill health and that the worsening situation in England is affecting people with greater deprivation more than people who are more affluent.”