Working class are less informed on how to prevent illness
• Simplyhealth research released at the Labour Party Conference reveals that nearly a third (30%) of working class households say there is too much conflicting advice on healthy lifestyle guidelines
• Double the number of working class don’t know where to go for information on how to prevent illness, compared to the middle class (10% versus 5%)
• Working class families are more reliant on their GP than the middle class (69% versus 64%)
Nearly a third (30%) of the country’s working class households say there is too much conflicting advice on healthy lifestyle guidelines, latest figures show.
Statistics released today by Simplyhealth at the Labour Party Conference – at a panel event held in partnership with the Social Market Foundation - reveal that when asked about key health indicators there were variations between the working and middle classes as to whether they are within a healthy range. Less than half (47%) of the working class think they are a healthy weight, compared to 52% of the middle class. When it comes to cholesterol and blood sugar, fewer working class believe they are within a healthy range than the middle class with 49% versus 55% and 50 versus 59%, respectively.
Fewer working class (49%) believe they have a healthy cholesterol than the middle class (55%), and half (50%) of the working class think they have a healthy blood sugar level compared to 59% of the middle class.
Working class families are also more reliant on their GP than the middle class (69% versus 64%) and are less likely to turn to a gym or leisure centre (9% versus 16%), their employer (2% versus 5%) or go online (37% versus 44%) for support with their health.
Of those who didn’t follow advice given at a health check within the last year, 43% of the working class said they didn’t feel motivated enough and that it was too much effort for little benefit.
The results reveal there is a gap in the understanding of the benefits of preventative healthcare and that for working class people the options they have to go to for advice on leading a healthy lifestyle are more limited than the middle class. This suggests there needs to be more effort on promoting the importance of monitoring your own health.
This is where employers and the private sector can help ease the strain on the NHS by offering information and support so the NHS can focus on treating serious conditions.
We don’t believe anybody should go without the healthcare support they need and these figures show your background has a big impact on how you manage your health and the services you turn to for support.
Our research also shows that 36% of people believe private healthcare companies can play a role in supporting people’s health alongside the NHS. We believe cross-sector collaboration between the NHS, private providers, employers and the third sector is crucial to make sure the NHS can meet the nation’s healthcare needs now and in the future.
The ability to manage your own health only becomes harder once you have been diagnosed with a long-term health condition, as a fifth (20%) of unemployed people say they need more support to manage their condition compared to just 4% of the overall of the population.
Simplyhealth and Social Market Foundation hosted a panel event on Tuesday 25th September titled ‘The good health gap: How can we make healthcare sustainable and accessible to ensure good health outcomes for all’
Panellist were Justin Madders MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care; Niall Dickson, Chief Executive, NHS Confederation; Nigel Keohane, Research Director, SMF; Pippa Crerar, Deputy Political Editor, The Guardian (chair) and Kate Thornton, Executive Lead on community impact at Simplyhealth.
Deltapoll findings; survey 2,050 adults; national representative of UK adults; 14-17th September 2018
Middle class denotes ABC1Working class denotes C2DE