Election 2017

02 June 2017

People's Health Trust's priorities for addressing health inequalities

The Trust believes that projects involving participatory action and co-production will be more successful in tackling health inequalities at a neighbourhood level than those that do not. Local people know their neighbourhoods and are invested in them – what issues need addressing and what will help to improve things. Giving communities and neighbourhoods the opportunity to develop collective control – the empowerment generated through collective activity – is an effective ways of addressing health inequalities.

We are calling on the candidates, the new parliament and the next government to:

1.    Acknowledge that health inequalities are caused by wider determinants of health, rather than solely individual behavioural factors:

  • Recognise that good health, regardless of where you were born and live, is a matter of social justice;
  • Bring about a greater focus on the underlying socioeconomic basis of health disparities that manifests across and between neighbourhoods.

2.    Direct resources towards addressing the underlying root causes of health inequalities:  

  • Support direct initiatives which focus on addressing the wider social determinants of health at a local level, e.g. in approaches to the local economy, housing, employment and the environment;
  • Support rigorous studies and evaluations which examine the underlying causes of health inequalities, including through natural experiments.

3.    Use the skills and experience of local people to develop solutions to addressing health inequalities:

  • Facilitate deep conversations with local communities and individuals to get a better understanding of local skills and wisdom to solve some of the local issues which give rise to health inequalities, and ensure that these feed into policy decisions;
  • Afford greater consideration to the concept of ‘collective control’ and establish an approach to addressing health inequalities which gives local communities ownership.


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