A REPORT into health inequalities impacting Barnsley’s communities has revealed males born in wealthier areas can expect 21 extra ‘healthy’ years over their lifetime than those in poor areas.

Discussed by North East Area Council members - which includes villages such as Cudworth, Grimethorpe and Royston - the report said the areas fare worse than other parts of Barnsley.

Compiled by Barnsley Council’s public health team, males in that particular area of the borough have an average life expectancy of 76.6 years - more than a year less than people elsewhere in the town and three years less than the national average.

It said: “Healthy life expectancy is the average number of years a person would expect to live in good health in a particular area.

“As we all continue to both work and live longer, how long we will spend in ‘good health’ becomes increasingly important.

“Around one in five of the adult population are estimated to be living with major illness by 2040.

“The impact of this is a growing and costly demand for health and social care services.

“There is a growing gap in healthy life expectancy between the poorest and richest in England.

“Males born in England’s wealthiest areas can expect 21 extra healthy years compared with boys in the country’s poorest areas.

“Around 40 per cent of adults in Barnsley are living with some form of chronic illness or disability while one in four live in the most deprived communities in England.

“In Barnsley, there is a clear correlation between deprivation and multi-morbidity.”

A three-tier plan of action is in place to reverse the trend, councillors were told, which includes improving healthcare access for those in need, boosting services and better signposting among partners.

“Due to social, economic and environmental circumstances and other characteristics outside of their control people living in Barnsley are more 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 report added.

“We are all working hard to try and change this across the Barnsley system.”

One reason cited for residents’ poorer-than-average health outcomes in the North East Area Council zone is its history with mining.

The State of the Coalfields 2024 - a five-yearly document which looks at inequalities in ex-pit villages - said Grimethorpe is still one of the worst-impacted areas in the country for deprivation and, in turn, its health.

Of its 6,000 residents, 65 per cent are classed as ‘deprived households’ while 13 per cent report ‘bad or very bad’ health and 23 per cent claim out-of-work benefits.

“Average life expectancy in the former coalfields is around a year less than the national average, and around three years less than in south-east of England,” it said.

“This disparity applies to both men and women, and amongst men it cannot be attributed solely to the impact of working in the coal industry because as time has passed relatively few residents are ex-miners.

“However, there is no doubt that working in the coal industry was often damaging to health.”