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Theme 5: Reduce health inequalities

Summary :: Our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy :: Theme 5: Reduce health inequalities

In Medway rates of long-term illness, emergency hospital admissions and death are higher in those who are more disadvantaged. Health outcomes are not only worse in those who are the most disadvantaged; the inequalities follow a gradient and as such the response also needs to follow a gradient. This means that health and social care provisions need to be made available to all, with increasing effort needed for those who are increasingly disadvantaged. For example, individuals with a learning disability and individuals with mental illnesses have, on average, a significantly lower life expectancy compared to the general population. Other groups include those in the criminal justice system and armed forces. For these groups national strategies and policies apply, and the local public health team works with these groups and national teams where appropriate.

Taking action through tackling the wider determinants of health, lifestyle factors and improved health and social care to reduce health inequalities will result in reduced costs for the health and social care system. Some interventions will have a rapid effect, while others will take longer to affect health inequalities.

The publication Fair Society, Healthy Lives: Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post 2010 (Marmot Review)[1] reviewed the evidence on what is effective in tackling health inequalities. This focuses largely on the social determinants of health and is based around six key policy recommendations for the most effective ways to reduce the health inequalities gap. These policy recommendations are woven into the JHWS and are as follows: give every child the best start in life; enable all children, young people and adults to maximise their capabilities and have control over their lives; create fair employment and good work for all; ensure a healthy standard of living for all; create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities and strengthen the role and impact of ill health prevention.

Priorities


• Monitor the variation in key outcomes across Medway, including school readiness
• Influence the delivery of services to reduce variation across Medway
• Reduce variation in healthy life expectancy
• Support early help to families


References

[1]   Marmot M. Fair Society, Healthy lives 2010; Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post-2010. http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review .