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Supporting local action on health inequalities

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Reducing health inequalities is at the heart of public health and PHE’s priorities.

Recent media headlines have further confirmed the extent of their impact on people’s lives and health, including the stark divides between different parts of the country and between different groups of people.

Today in England, people living in the least deprived areas of the country live around 20 years longer in good health than people in the most deprived areas, with some of the greatest need concentrated in large parts of the north of England.

As part of our efforts to address this situation we’ve published “Reducing health inequalities: system scale and sustainability”, together with an introduction summary  to support local action on health inequalities.

These documents are a response to wide demand from across the public health system for an update of the Health Inequalities National Support Team (HINST) background document “Systematically reducing health inequalities”, which originated from work done between 2006 and 2010.

Our revised version, developed under the expert eye of Professor Chris Bentley (who led the original HINST) in consultation with colleagues across public health and local government takes you through different levels of intervention on health inequalities.

It explores risk and the impact of interventions over time and across the life course, emphasising the importance of acting at scale in order to reach large sections of the population and have real impact.

The publication includes a Population Outcomes Through Services (POTS) framework (once familiarly known as the ’Christmas tree’) which is an aide to taking systematic approaches to delivering services for greater impact through assessing where problems lie and then what actions can be taken.

There’s also a chapter devoted to the data and intelligence resources and tools available.

Webinars to deliver the guidance will be run by PHE centres together with their local knowledge and intelligence services using bespoke local health inequalities data to illustrate the HINST approach. The first of these webinars will be run by PHE South West on 25 September.

This publication is the most recent in a number of initiatives from PHE to support action by local health and social care organisations.

Other work includes our Health Equity report published in August which demonstrates how PHE is using the public health outcomes framework (PHOF) indicators to monitor progress to reduce health inequalities in England.  Read more on our blog.

And in July, we published Health Profiles 2017 which provide a snapshot  of issues that can affect health for each local authority in England and also the Health Profile for England, bringing together data and knowledge to tell a story about the health of our population.


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