CMO Annual Report 2020- 2021

6 Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Annual Report 2020 -2021 A healthier population could be one of our nation’s most important assets and must be our ambition. In this chapter I share key statistics and figures that demonstrate the current health of the nation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I will provide a summary of the current issues affecting Scotland’s population health with a particular focus on the urgent need to tackle health inequalities, which have been magnified during the pandemic. STALLED LIFE EXPECTANCY TRENDS Improving the length of time people live in good health is a core objective of the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework (NPF) , and of the United Nations, through their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) . Until around 2012, average life expectancy had been increasing steadily in Scotland. This increase has subsequently stalled with little or no improvement since then. Of concern is emerging evidence that healthy life expectancy has also stopped improving over the last decade. 1-3 Figure 1 – The stalled trends in life expectancy improvement, Scotland, 2000-2002 to 2017-2019 (Source: National Records of Scotland)