Health Equals launched their new campaign at party conferences over the past fortnight. A balloon was flown over Manchester and Liverpool with the message Get Well Soon Britain, drawing attention to the significant differences in life expectancy across the country. Health Equals called on the next government to introduce a Bill of Health.
As a founding member of Health Equals, People’s Health Trust supported the collaboration’s latest campaign at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester and in Liverpool for the Labour Party Conference.
The focal point of the campaign was a large ‘Get Well Soon Britain’ balloon suspended in the air in each city. This was accompanied by a Health Equals team handing out get well soon cards and flowers to MPs, policy-makers and the public.
The campaign tactic is in support of Health Equals’ call for all parties to put a new ‘Bill of Health’ at the heart of their manifestoes.
The bill would be a commitment from government for a cross departmental strategy to reduce health inequalities by improving the building blocks of health. This would include time-bound, measurable targets on improving public health; ways in which the government can be held to account to deliver the targets, including independent scrutiny; and a commitment of adequate funding to achieve the targets.
John Hume, Chief Executive, People’s Health Trust, said:
“As a funder, we know that significant inequalities in health exist across the UK. Local communities are trying to stem the damage to health caused by poor quality housing, low incomes, poor quality jobs, and a lack of opportunity to socialise. At the same time life expectancy has stalled, and for the poorest in society, is now in decline. Local people will always play their part, but the responsibility for addressing entrenched health inequalities rests with our decision makers. Now is the time for policy-makers to show real leadership and commit to ending the causes of health inequalities in a generation.”
The conference campaign tactic is the latest phase of campaigning by the collaboration group, whose members include charities, think tanks and industry organisations. Following its launch earlier this year, the collaboration worked on the Lives Cut Short campaign, drawing attention to the significant differences in life expectancy between advantaged and disadvantaged areas in the UK.