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Public Health: Equality

Question for Department of Health

UIN 42294, tabled on 11 July 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to reduce health inequalities in areas of high deprivation.

Answered on

14 July 2016

Reducing health inequalities is a priority for this Government.

The Department takes a comprehensive and strategic approach to tackling health inequalities that addresses the wider social causes of ill health, promotes healthier lifestyles for all, tackles differences in both access to, and outcomes from, health and public health services. Action is led locally to ensure that the solutions put in place reflect the needs of individual communities.

Achieving measureable and sustained reductions in health inequalities is integral to the Department’s Shared Delivery Plan 2015-20, and reflected in the Government’s mandate to NHS England, Public Health England’s (PHE’s) Evidence into Action and supporting strategic and business plans at national and local level. NHS England’s Business Plan for 2016/17 prioritises closing the gap for groups experiencing poorer health outcomes, a poorer experience of, and access to, healthcare. PHE is supporting local and national efforts to address health inequalities by providing knowledge and intelligence, and evidence-informed tools and advice.

To support this, the Department has published Improving outcomes and supporting transparency: A public health outcomes framework for England 2013-16. The framework’s vision is to improve and protect the nation’s health and wellbeing, and improve the health of the poorest fastest. It is focused on the two high-level outcomes we want to achieve across the public health system and beyond. The first is increased healthy life expectancy; the second is reduced differences in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between communities through greater improvements in more disadvantaged communities.

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