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Found 104 results
  1. Content Article
    In Birmingham, eight out of 10 Somali children live in ‘poor’ households with low levels of economic activity and high rates of mental health issues, such as PTSD. In the UK, six in 10 (59%) people in the Somali community live in overcrowded accommodation, compared to fewer than one in 10 (8%) of the overall population. Meanwhile, studies show that many Somali people find it difficult to access health and social care services, due to language and socio-economic barriers. Suad Duale is a community activist, clinician, mother and researcher who grew up as a Somali refugee in Birmingham. In this blog for The King's Fund, she describes how unfair treatment of the Somali community leads to a collective lack of trust in professionals, particularly in the health system. She describes the issues contributing to the disparities faced by the community, including a lack of people from the Somali community in leadership roles who are able to advocate for the needs of the community. She describes the work of Dream Chaser Youth Club in Birmingham, where she volunteers by acting as a link to help people from the Somali community connect with health and care services.
  2. Content Article
    This BMJ long-read article argues that health is going in the wrong direction in the UK, and reversing the trend requires political and societal commitment to deal with the underlying causes. It proposes evidence-based solutions to the worsening health and widening inequalities in the UK through action on the social determinants of health.
  3. Content Article
    A large number of people live with long-term breathlessness that has a significant impact on their daily lives. For some, breathlessness is not directly linked to an underlying, diagnosable illness, and these people can struggle to access effective treatment and support. In this interview, respiratory doctor Anna Moore explains some of the causes of breathlessness including its links to a wide range of socioeconomic factors. She outlines the person-centred, multi-disciplinary approach her team at Barts Health is taking to help people overcome breathlessness and highlights the need for more research in this area.
  4. News Article
    Black people have the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections in Britain and officials are not doing enough to address the issue, sexual health experts have warned. Black Britons have “disproportionally high rates” of various STI diagnoses compared to white Britons, with those of Black Caribbean heritage specifically having the highest rates for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, herpes and trichomoniasis. Experts have told The Independent that healthcare providers are failing to address these disparities in STIs. They have called for more research to fully understand the complicated reasons why STIs are higher among people of Black ethnicity. Research conducted through the Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) found that there were no clinical or behavioural factors explaining the disproportionately high rates of STI diagnoses among Black people. But higher rates of poverty and poor health literacy among marginalised communities are all linked with higher STI rates, according to a 2016 study, which found that behavioural and contextual factors are likely to be contributing. Moreover, experiences of racism among Black people can fuel a reluctance to engage with sexual health services and test frequently, according to HIV activist Susan Cole-Haley. She told The Independent: “I very much believe that it is linked to socioeconomic disadvantage and racism, often in healthcare settings, which can be a significant barrier for people accessing testing, for instance, and feeling comfortable engaging with care.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 February 2023
  5. Content Article
    Local authorities fund many of the services—such as housing, education and social care—which either support or tackle the drivers of health inequalities. The Institute of Health Equity (IHE) has looked at every local authority in England and plotted levels of health, inequalities in health and cuts in their spending power. This report provides information from 17 local authorities with statistically significant increases in inequalities in life expectancy. The report shows, since 2010, central government spending cuts to local authorities were highest in areas with lower life expectancy and more health inequalities, further harming health in these places. It also confirms widening inequalities in life expectancy between regions in England and within local authorities since 2010.
  6. News Article
    Female survivors of breast cancer living in the most deprived areas have a 35% higher risk of developing second, unrelated cancers, compared with those from the most affluent areas, research shows. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, with about 56,000 people being told they have it each year. Improved diagnosis and treatments mean that five-year survival rates are now 86% in England. People who survive breast cancer have a greater likelihood of second primary (unrelated) cancer, but until now the exact risk has not been clear. A team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge analysed NHS data from almost 600,000 patients in England and found, compared with the general female population, women who had survived breast cancer had an increased risk of developing 12 other primary cancers. Compared with the most affluent, the least well-off female survivors of breast cancer had a 166% greater chance of developing lung cancer, a 78% higher risk of stomach cancer, more than 50% increased risk of bladder and oesophagus cancers, 48% higher risk of head and neck cancer and 43% increased risk of kidney cancer. Read full story Source: Guardian, 24 April 2024
  7. Event
    Decades of research has shown that the health of the population in England is unequal, with people who live in more deprived areas experiencing illness earlier in life and dying younger. Previous Health Foundation analysis has projected that 9.3 million people could be living with major illness by 2040, which is 2.6 million, or 39%, more people than in 2019. In April, the Health Foundation’s REAL Centre published its second report in their ‘Health in 2040’ series, this time exploring how current patterns of ill health vary with deprivation across England, and to what extent this is projected to change by 2040. The findings have important implications for health inequality among the working age population and how it poses a challenge to labour supply and economic growth. This webinar will convene experts to explore what the findings mean for how we might need to change as a society, and what can we do to better prepare for the future. Register
  8. News Article
    A record 3.7 million workers in England will have a major illness by 2040, according to research. On current trends, 700,000 more working-age adults will be living with high healthcare needs or substantial risk of mortality by 2040 – up nearly 25% from 2019 levels, according to a report by the Health Foundation charity. But the authors predicted no improvement in health inequalities for working-age adults by 2040, with 80% of the increase in major illness in more deprived areas. Researchers at the Health Foundation’s research arm and the University of Liverpool examined 1.7m GP and hospital records, alongside mortality data, which was then linked to geographical data to estimate the difference in diagnosed illness by level of deprivation in England in 2019, the last year of health data before the pandemic. They then projected how levels of ill health are predicted to change in England between 2019 and 2040 based on trends in risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use, obesity, diet and physical activity, as well as rates of illness, life expectancy and population changes. Without action, the authors warn, people in the most deprived areas of England are likely to develop a major illness 10 years earlier than those in the least deprived areas and are also three times more likely to die by the age of 70. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 April 2024
  9. Content Article
    This Health Foundation report explores how patterns of diagnosed ill health vary by socioeconomic deprivation in England. This report is the second output from the REAL Centre’s programme of research with the University of Liverpool. Building on the projections in Health in 2040, this report is one of the first studies to unpack patterns of inequalities in diagnosed illness by socioeconomic deprivation across England and project them into the future.  Stark inequalities are projected to stubbornly persist up to 2040, with profound implications not only for people’s quality of life, but also their ability to work and the wider economy. The report also finds that health inequality is largely due to a small group of long-term conditions, with chronic pain, type 2 diabetes and anxiety and depression projected to increase at a faster rate in the most deprived areas.
  10. Content Article
    Throughout 2023, the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) carried out the first ever national inquiry into musculoskeletal (MSK) health inequalities. The inquiry found that the prevalence and impact of musculoskeletal conditions are not experienced equally across the population. Musculoskeletal conditions are linked to deprivation and age, are more prevalent in women and disproportionately affect some ethnic groups. Deprivation is a significant driver of inequalities in MSK health. People in deprived areas experience more chronic pain, are more likely to have a long term MSK condition and experience worse clinical outcomes and quality of life. These inequalities are avoidable through changes in the design and delivery of MSK services, and actions to address wider determinants of health and prevention. The report makes recommendations to reduce health inequalities in MSK care, treatment and outcomes.
  11. Content Article
    This Lancet article highlights three challenges to measuring and analysing social determinants of health (SDoH) for which data science—a cross-disciplinary set of skills to make judgements and decisions with data by using it responsibly and effectively—can be harnessed. The three challenges the authors examine are: Data necessary for capturing the exposure of interest at multiple levels appropriately are not always available nor easy to measure. SDoH are distal to individual health outcomes compared to biomedical determinants such as comorbidities. The distal placement of SDoH in relation to health outcomes results in requires long periods of time to observe their effect.
  12. Content Article
    This report was put together by two charities, Pathway and Crisis, and reveals how the national crisis facing both our health and housing systems leads to worsening health for people in inclusion health groups. Drawing on 85 pieces of published literature from the past two years, and a survey of frontline medical and healthcare professionals, the findings reveal how those who are most excluded in our society struggle to access health services due to inflexibility, discrimination and stigma. It calls on the Government, along with NHS England, to lead reform of mainstream health services and to increase the availability of specialist care. It further calls for a commitment to deliver the social housing needed to ensure that everyone has a safe and healthy home.
  13. Content Article
    Women and people born biologically female have unique health needs across the life span, and their health outcomes often differ from those of men. Although women make up greater than half of the world’s population, these unique needs remain both insufficiently understood, due to decades of exclusion from scientific and medical research, and inadequately addressed, due to systems and cultures that often dismiss or devalue their experiences. This article discusses highlights from the National Academy of Medicine's Annual Meeting Scientific Symposium in October 2023 on the subject of women’s health. It looks at improving representation in research, bridging the gap in terms of social determinants of health and the need to reassess and research the female chromosomal makeup.
  14. Content Article
    Currently, it is estimated that more than one in five people in the UK are living in poverty. This King's Fund analysis reveals that people living in poverty find it harder to live a healthy life, live with greater illness, face barriers to accessing timely treatment, and die earlier than the rest of the population. The analysis looks at the link between poverty and each of the following: prevalence of ill health difficulties accessing health care late or delayed treatment poorer health outcomes. The long read argues that while the NHS can, and should, do more to make timely care accessible to deprived communities, wider government and societal action is needed to address the root causes of poverty.
  15. Content Article
    The Children and Young People’s Health Equity Collaborative (CHEC) is a partnership between the UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE), Barnardo’s and three Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), Birmingham and Solihull, Cheshire and Merseyside, and South Yorkshire. The CHEC sees action on the social determinants of health as essential in improving health outcomes among children and young people and reducing inequalities in health. The CHEC recognises that social determinants of health are generally not sufficiently addressed in policies, services and interventions that aim to support better health among children and young people. This framework has been developed by the CHEC with direct input from children and young people local to the three ICSs. The CHEC Board were also involved in its development. The framework’s main purpose is to underpin action for achieving greater equity in children and young people’s health and wellbeing and will be used to support the development of pilot interventions in the three partner ICS areas. There is an ambition for the framework also to be used more widely, encouraging other ICSs to take action on the social determinants of health among children and young people.
  16. Content Article
    The health action process approach (HAPA) is a social-cognitive model that specifies motivational and volitional determinants of health behaviour. This meta-analysis of studies applying the HAPA in health behaviour contexts estimates the size and variability of correlations among model constructs, test model predictions and test effects of past behaviour and moderators on model relations.
  17. Content Article
    Despite major gains in diagnosis and treatment, England continues to experience high disparities in cancer outcomes, with social and financial deprivation major drivers. This article from the thinktank Public Policy Projects looks at the underlying issues that lead to variation in both the likelihood of developing cancer, such as dietary differences, and in diagnosis, such as inaccessible screening programmes
  18. News Article
    Poorer people find it much harder to access NHS care than the well-off and have a worse experience when they do get it, research by the health service’s consumer watchdog has found. Those on the lowest incomes have much more difficulty getting a GP appointment, dental care or help with mental health problems, according to a survey by Healthwatch England. They are also more likely to feel they are not listened to by a health professional and not involved in key decisions about their care compared with those who are financially comfortable. The links between poverty and ill-health are well known, but the Healthwatch findings show that the worse-off also face the disadvantage what the watchdog called barriers to obtaining healthcare when they need it. The findings have prompted fears that the NHS is too often a “two-tier service” with access closely related to wealth, and calls for it to do more to make services more accessible to everyone. Healthwatch’s survey of 2,018 people aged 16 and over in England, which was a representative sample of the population, found that: 42% of those who described their financial situation as “really struggling” said they had trouble getting to see a GP, double the 21% of those who were “very comfortable”. 38% of the worst-off found it hard to get NHS dental care, compared with 20% of the better-off. 28% of the very poor had difficulty accessing mental health treatment, whereas only 9% of the very comfortable did so. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 March 2024
  19. Content Article
    Using experiences of care from over 10 million people collected over the past ten years, Healthwatch England presents a bold vision for the NHS in 2030. In a new report, Healthwatch outlines what they think the NHS should be in six years and how it can get there. The vision calls for a focus on three key themes: Making the NHS easier to access and navigate. Tackling health inequalities.  Building a patient-centred culture. 
  20. Content Article
    Although disparities in surgical outcomes are well-documented, understanding of how socioecological factors drive these disparities remains limited. This US study’s objective was to develop and assess the acceptability and feasibility of a comprehensive tool to evaluate socioecological determinants of health in patients requiring colorectal surgery. The authors developed an 88-item assessment tool measuring 31 socioecological determinants of health. It was assessed as having high acceptability and feasibility for patients who required colorectal surgery. The authors concluded that this work will help to identify what research is needed to understand and address surgical disparities.
  21. News Article
    People living in the most deprived parts of the country are more than twice as likely to be in poor health as those living in the most affluent, a new report has revealed. People in Liverpool are almost three times more likely to be in poor health than those in Oxfordshire, and twice as likely to be economically inactive, research by the cross-party IPPR Commission on Health and Prosperity found. The researchers found a “stark divide” in health and wealth throughout the UK was leaving many “bad health blackspots”, with people more likely to be out of work. Overall, people living in the most deprived parts of the country are more than twice as likely to be in poor health as those living in the most affluent – and are around 40% more likely to report economic inactivity. Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 January 2024
  22. Content Article
    MBRRACE have released their latest UK maternal mortality figures. The maternal death rate in 2020-22 was 13.41 per 100,000 maternities. This is significantly 53% higher than the rate of 8.79 deaths per 100,000 maternities in the previous three year period (2017-19).
  23. Content Article
    This report by the Institute of Health Equity (IHE) highlights that a million people in 90% of areas in England lived shorter lives than they should have between 2011 and the start of the pandemic. Using several published ONS data sources, calculations were made from the number of excess deaths in the decade from 2011 in England. The report's findings add to evidence about the cumulative impact of regressive funding cuts associated with austerity on the population's health. As a result of austerity, life expectancy failed to increase, and actually fell for women in the 10% of poorest areas, and health inequalities widened.
  24. Content Article
    Cancers are the leading cause of death in England. This study from Rashid et al. published in Lancet Oncology aimed to estimate trends in mortality from leading cancers from 2002 to 2019 for the 314 districts in England. The study found that declines in overall cancer mortality have been unequal both geographically and among different groups of cancers. The greatest geographical inequality was observed for cancers with modifiable risk factors and potential for screening for precancerous lesions. Addressing risk factors such as smoking and alcohol use, expanding access to and utilisation of screening for prevention and early detection, and improving the quality of care should be used to reduce deaths in areas where they remain highest. High-resolution spatiotemporal data can help identify where intervention is required and track progress.
  25. Content Article
    Sepsis, characterised by significant morbidity and mortality, is intricately linked to socioeconomic disparities and pre-admission clinical histories. This study in eClinical Medicine looked at the association between non-COVID-19 related sepsis and health inequality risk factors amidst the pandemic in England, with a secondary focus on their association with 30-day sepsis mortality. It found that socioeconomic deprivation, comorbidity and learning disabilities were associated with an increased odds of developing non-COVID-19 related sepsis and 30-day mortality in England. This study highlights the need to improve the prevention of sepsis, including more precise targeting of antimicrobials to higher-risk patients. It also revealed that people with learning disabilities were almost four times as likely to develop the life-threatening illness. People with chronic liver disease were just over three times as likely, and chronic kidney disease stage 5 over 6 times more likely to develop non-COVID-19 sepsis. Cancer, neurological disease, immunosuppressive conditions, and having multiple prior courses of antibiotics were also associated with developing non-COVID-19 sepsis.
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