People’s Health Trust is joining organisations across the UK as a member of Health Equals, a new initiative from the Health Foundation.
Health Equals launched last week with a membership of more than 30 national organisations and funding from the Health Foundation. The five-year initiative has developed from the Collaboration for Health and Wellbeing in 2019, with the Trust as a founding member.
The initiative will focus on the building blocks of health and wellbeing that have a lasting and positive impact on the quality of people’s lives. Homes that are warm and safe, stable jobs, social connections, and neighbourhoods with green space and clean air can all help reduce health inequalities.
These building blocks of health are beyond what individual people can control. Health Equals aims to establish a better understanding of where responsibility lies for improving people’s health and push for policy change to address health inequalities.
We know from our own work that ignoring the causes of health inequalities has led to two decades of worsening health and life expectancy. The widening gap in life expectancy between the most and least disadvantaged communities across the UK now stands at between eight and13.7 years.
With member organisations drawn from different sectors and with diverse areas of focus including employment, housing, education and the environment, the initiative will demonstrate how our health is shaped by many different factors other than our actions or our access to the health service.
In line with People’s Health Trust’s vision, helping people live longer, healthier lives is at the centre of the initiative, and throughout 2023, Health Equals will launch a series of campaigns that will show how lives are being affected due to avoidable health inequalities.
Speaking at the Health Equals launch on Thursday 8 December, the head of Health Equals, Carrie Hume, said:
“Over the past decade the gap in life expectancy has been increasing, meaning that people living in the poorest areas of the UK are dying much sooner than those living in the most affluent areas. These differences are unfair and shouldn’t be a result of where or how you happen to live. We need sound preventative action that takes pressure off the health service, making sure people aren’t driven to poor health by their surroundings, living conditions, or place of work. A nation in robust health, drawing on everything we know about what supports health and wellbeing and supporting those most in need, helps secure a healthier future for everyone.”