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PPP Breakfast: focus on healthcare inequality with Professor Bola Owolabi

The first in Public Policy Projects' (PPP) 2024 PPP Breakfast event series took place last week, co-hosted with PwC. Professor Bola Owolabi, MRCGP MFPH(Hon), FRSPH, Director of Healthcare Inequalities shared the stage with Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell to discuss the challenges that health inequalities present to the NHS, healthcare professionals and patients, and opportunities to overcome them..

On 8 February, the first in the 2024 PPP Breakfast events took place, co-hosted at 1 Embankment Place, London by PwC.

Ameneh Saatchi, PPP Senior Market Access and Policy Manager, was at the Breakfast and observed:

“Professor Owolabi really impressed me with her knowledge of networks and how we can tap into local influencers to understand local health inequalities, social determinants and healthcare inequalities.

I was impressed with how she broke down our challenges with addressing healthcare inequalities to date. Three key points she raised were:

  1. In a bid to fix it all we have dissipated our energy in many directions and not gained traction on anything.
  2. We become paralysed by data, overanalysing data to describe the problem without a clear framework or outcome in mind.
  3. We need our resources to be directed in the direction of our ambitions.”

Navpreet Reen, Senior Territory Business Manager at Flen Health attended the event and commented:

“I had the amazing opportunity to attend this event yesterday morning and it was inspirational to see Professor Bola Owolabi talk about a topic I hold very close to me. Learning how patients’ access to healthcare and outcomes can be affected by their race, gender, socioeconomic status, location and other social determinants has made me realise that healthcare is not a level playing field across England and these health inequalities have been further exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic, seen for example in lower levels of vaccine uptake within ethnic minorities.

Because of this, we must all come together to take action to bridge these gaps and remove these barriers, so we can no longer hide behind data and statistics that are masking the true situation. I believe we have a real opportunity as industry to partner with organisations like Public Policy Projects who are doing great work with events like these to bring health inequalities to the top of everyone’s agendas.”

PPP is running seven programmes in 2024, covering integrated care, wound care, diabetes, cancer care, medicines and pharmacy, rare diseases and global genomics. Events in these programmes are free for the public sector, including ICS leads, NHS organisations, Local Authorities, academics, researchers, non-profits/charities and third sector providers.

To find out more about the next Breakfast, or to be a PPP Partner in our programmes, email Lee Davies at

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