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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, England and Wales had seen stalling life expectancy, rising infant mortality rates, increasing mid-aged mortality (including so-called deaths of despair) and tightening restrictions on access to healthcare.1 Spikes in age-standardised mortality rates have been, by many, attributed almost wholly to influenza, though the evidence does not support this.
As we enter winter 2020 with a health and social care service that has endured a decade of insufficient funding, a population whose health has been worsened by austerity, and now a pandemic, let’s …
Twitter Martin McKee @martinmckee, Lucinda Hiam @lu_hiam and Danny Dorling @dannydorling.
Contributors DD conceived the idea and prepared the graph. LH wrote the draft of the letter, which MM and DD reviewed and edited.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.