Bid to tackle health inequalities gains pace

The government has issued proposals for delivering action on the
targets to eradicate health inequality announced in February.

The consultation lists six “priority themes”, including
improving NHS primary care services, strengthening disadvantaged
communities, improving opportunity for young people, and tackling
factors that cause health inequalities.

The paper concentrates on the creation of “strong public health
groups” with government offices for the regions, while primary care
trusts will drive forward the agenda at a local level.

It also stresses the need for increased partnership working to
eliminate public health inequalities.

“Locally, the work of NHS strategic health authorities and
primary care trusts will need to be aligned with local strategic
partnerships,” says the paper.

To do this, health improvement and modernisation plans should be
connected with local authority planning processes, and fit with
local community strategies and neighbourhood renewal

In addition, local strategic partnerships should put health
inequalities at the core of their strategies and devise monitoring
arrangements. There also needs to be “committed NHS participation”
in the partnerships, says the paper.

It also outlines work on the development of a “basket of
indicators” to track progress towards the achievement of the
national health inequalities targets.

Responses are invited by 9 November.

  • Department of Health, Tackling Health Inequalities, available



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