Swindon has a lower rate of avoidable deaths than the south west average.

Avoidable mortality is defined as deaths caused by either preventable or treatable health conditions for those aged under 75.

They can be avoided through effective public health and timely healthcare interventions.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show there were 1,379 avoidable deaths in Swindon between 2020 and 2022, with 67 per cent of them considered preventable.

The area had a rate of 238 avoidable deaths per 100,000 people – up from 215 in 2017-19, before the pandemic.

This was higher than the south west average of 211, while the north west had the highest rate and the most avoidable deaths recorded at 310 and 61,503, respectively.

Men saw a higher rate of avoidable deaths in every area across the country. In Swindon it stood at 309 for them and 168 for women.

Veena Raleigh, senior fellow at the King’s Fund, said: "The cut in public health budgets of one-quarter since 2015-16, which fell most heavily on people living in the most deprived areas of England, illustrates governmental failure to adequately prioritise improving health and preventing illness in areas where people have the poorest health.

"Healthcare services in the UK are also under-resourced compared with international peers and key health outcomes are worse – a powerful testimony that the UK is doing poorly also on treating people."

In 2022, 22 per cent of total deaths at all ages in England and Wales were considered avoidable – down from 24 per cent in 2021.

Kathryn Marszalek, senior analytical manager at the Health Foundation, said: "While avoidable mortality rates have fallen since 2021, they are still higher than pre-pandemic levels.

"However, this will still include the many Covid deaths in 2022."

The ONS said cancer was the leading cause of avoidable mortality in 2022, but it has declined steadily since 2001, while the mortality rate for alcohol-related and drug-related deaths has continued to increase.

Ms Marszalek said: "The next government faces an uphill challenge in improving the population's health and reducing inequalities.

"Improving health needs long-term cross-government action ranging from ensuring good-quality jobs and housing to investing in wider public services and ensuring that everyone has equitable access to health care services.

"Preventing ill-health and reducing premature deaths is surely one of the biggest challenges of our age, and while political parties have set out some measures to improve public health such as committing to a smokefree generation, none of them match the scale of reform needed to bring about serious change.”