Johnson to tackle health inequalities

Inequalities have shifted back to the top of the health agenda with the announcement last month by health secretary Alan Johnson of a strategic review, due to be published in spring 2008.

Alan Johnson

Dr Fiona Adshead, England’s deputy CMO, told a National Association of  Primary Care conference on primary care redesign in London last week that the health gap between rich and poor remains wide and in some areas is getting wider.

In the DoH’s spearhead deprivation areas, 13,700 patients die prematurely because they do not get the systematic high quality service they deserve, she said.

On a string of measures, patients in deprived areas have worse health outcomes. Eight per cent of babies in the UK are born underweight compared with the Europe average of 6.4 per cent. Mothers in deprived areas are four times more likely to smoke while pregnant and children from deprived areas are twice as likely to drink ‘unhealthy’ sugary, fizzy drinks, she said.

Examining factors that make a difference, the DoH has developed a Health Inequalities Intervention Tool to help PCTs and local government to see what they are doing well.

The DoH is looking at social marketing tools as well as health literacy programmes jointly with the Department for Education and Skills, she said.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

BMA Scotland GP committee chair Dr Andrew Buist

General practice in Scotland 'in serious trouble', warns BMA Scotland GP chair

General practice in Scotland has reached a tipping point, with demand far outstripping...

Hospital entrance

NHS England issues warning over norovirus and rising winter pressures

Almost three times as many people were in hospital with norovirus last week compared...

BMA Northern Ireland GP committee chair Dr Alan Stout

Northern Ireland GPs face deepest-ever crisis as practices hand back contracts

Northern Ireland's GP leader has warned that general practice in the region is facing...

GP consulting room

GP appointments hit record high of over 34m in October

GP practices delivered a record 34.3m appointments in October this year excluding...

GP consultation

New contract that enforces continuity would make GPs and patients safer, says watchdog

A new GP contract that makes continuity of care an 'essential requirement' for practices...

GP receptionist on the phone

Some practices to receive funding to upgrade digital phone systems

GP practices whose digital phone systems do not meet new NHS England standards will...