Healthiest Places to Live in the UK

Although the we usually talk of the UK as a whole when it comes to figures around life expectancy, there are huge discrepancies between different parts of the country, or even between different areas in the same city. Recent studies have drawn a map of UK health, and have shown where the most healthy places UK are.

Kensington and Chelsea

The upmarket London borough of Kensington and Chelsea scores highest than most on scales used to measure how healthy the population is. Cancer deaths in Kensington and Chelsea are 81 per 100,000 compared to areas in the north west of England where deaths from cancer are twice as likely. The average life expectancy in the UK is 76.9 and the figure for Kensington and Chelsea is much higher at 82.2 years.

East Dunbartonshire

One of the smaller counties in Scotland, East Dunbartonshire lies to the north of Glasgow and is full of leafy suburbs and affluent residential areas. This is the part of the country with the greatest contrast in life expectancies and health. The average life expectancy for a man in East Dunbartonshire is 79.4 years, almost 8 years longer than a man living just across the county border in the city of Glasgow. In the most deprived areas of Glasgow, the life expectancy for a male is just 54 years, lower than in Iraq or North Korea.

Rural v Urban

Studies have repeatedly shown that people who live in rural areas have a better life expectancy and standard of health than people who live in built up areas, especially large cities. Although some of the difference will be due to income levels, it may well be that a rural lifestyle is more relaxing and factors such as pollution are not as noticeable as in large cities. Small country towns such as Aldeburgh in Suffolk and Hinton St George in Somerset are the most healthy places to live for retired people.

Alcohol and Smoking

One of the main indications of how healthy a population is concerns how much alcohol is drunk by the population. The area of the UK where the lowest amount of alcohol is drunk is the West Midlands, and the highest is the North East and the Yorkshire and Humber areas. 27% of men in these areas drink over 8 units on one day per week. Yorkshire also leads the way when it comes to high smoking levels, with 20% of all adults regular lighting up on cigarettes. The government are trying to address these figures and their knock on effect on health by focusing efforts in these areas to get people to quit smoking.

How do you insure the Queen?

Olympics (it can’t be easy parachuting at 86 – even with the help of James Bond!) and it looks like 2013 is set to be just as monumental with the birth of William and Kate’s 1st. But have you ever wondered what considerations are needed to insure the Queen? Would she be high risk/low risk?

It’s probably fairly unlikely that the Queen spends her free time on price comparison websites trying to get a better deal for her house insurance, but just like the rest of us, she will need to consider what sort of cover she needs. Insurance services and the Queen, or at least people similar to her, are an interesting subject, and there are specific areas where cover will be required.

Pet Insurance

Everyone knows the Queen loves her corgis, and like many elderly people she treats her pets as members of the extended family. Responsible pet owners take out pet insurance to guard against any unexpected vet bills should their pet have an accident or fall seriously ill. When more than one animal is owned, a separate policy will be required for each one.

Home and Contents Insurance

Any property owner will want to ensure that they have adequate cover to repair and restore their property if they are hit by flood or fire. A buildings insurance policy will cover the structure of the building, and a contents policy will cover the items in the home. Most insurers will ask homeowners to declare items over a certain monetary value, and it’s fair to say that in the Queen’s case this list will be fairly extensive.

Travel Insurance

There aren’t as many women in their eighties who travel as extensively as the Queen, but travel insurance is essential for anyone going overseas for business or pleasure. It covers not only the costs incurred if you have to cancel your holiday at short notice, but also covers loss or theft of luggage, medical costs while abroad, and emergency transport back to the UK in the event of a death or medical emergency.

Medical Insurance

As a nation we are living longer, and not a week goes past without there being a story in the press about pressure on the NHS. Lots of us have private medical insurance, and this sort of cover means that non-emergency procedures can be carried out much more quickly than on the NHS. For elderly people the Queen’s age, procedures like hip or knee replacements can be completed in a few weeks rather than a wait of several months.

Funeral Planning

The Queen is in the fortunate position of knowing that when she dies, her funeral will be arranged by the government and it will be a very grand occasion. Many elderly people in similar circumstances have policies which pay out in the event of their death and the idea is that this money can be used to cover the funeral expenses, and anything left over goes with the rest on the estate.