Tackling the ‘causes of the causes’

Even before Covid-19, the health picture in the UK was of great concern. In the decade from 2010, improvement in life expectancy had stalled, health inequalities had increased and life expectancy had declined for people in the most deprived 10 per cent of neighbourhoods outside London. Indeed, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), during the first wave of the pandemic, a male living in the most deprived area of England was twice as likely to die from Covid-19 than his equivalent in the least deprived area. There have also been consistently higher rates of death from Covid-19 among ethnic minority groups.

Health inequality is often considered an ignored issue but yesterday’s session proved clearly that this is not the case. Chaired by Senior Policy Analyst Lottie Moore, the panel consisted of five professionals from across the public and private sector committed to reducing health inequality:

  • Professor Maggie Rae, President of the Faculty of Public Health
  • Professor James Kingsland, Professor at University of Central Lancashire, and Clinical Lead, Complete Care Community Programme
  • Professor Durka Dougall, Senior Consultant & Programme Director, Leadership and Organisational Development at The King’s Fund
  • Dr Habib Naqvi MBE, Director, NHS Race and Health Observatory
  • Andrew Moran, Senior Health Network Strategy Executive at Cerner Corporation

Discussion was focused on dealing with the ‘causes of the causes’, namely, how to prevent people from getting ill in the first instance by improving the conditions in which people are born, living and working.

Indeed, last month PPP, in partnership with the Institute of Health Equity chaired by Professor Sir Michael Marmot and Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell, released a report on health inequality and what we can do nationally and locally to tackle the root of the contributing factors. This report was kindly supported by Cerner and Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited.

We invite you to read the report here.