Our health inequalities hub, which is funded by the Government, explores different themes in detail, shining a spotlight on case studies from councils across the country and exploring how COVID-19 exacerbated existing health inequalities.
The unequal distribution of the social determinants of health, such as education, housing and employment, drives inequalities in physical and mental health, reduces an individual’s ability to prevent sickness, or to take action and access treatment when ill health occurs. These inequalities are complex and embedded in society but they are also preventable. The dimensions of inequality are complex and overlapping as represented in the overlapping dimensions of health inequalities.
Importantly, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all more aware of what is meant by health inequalities and the ways in which they impact on people’s lives. Therefore, it is vital to act now and drive forward work programmes that reduce inequalities, prevent poor health and improve people’s opportunities for better health.
Local government, aware of the circumstances of so many of their residents, is focussing on reducing these inequalities, working with the wider health system to enable recovery from the pandemic and to build sustainable and healthier futures.
The hub also describes the national literature on health inequalities and COVID-19 and includes think pieces which delve deeper into the issue.