In the 2019 UK general election, the Conservative party’s manifesto made ambitious pledges on both the economy and health. A promise to prioritise the NHS came with a commitment to recruit thousands of extra medical staff and increase funding. They also committed to reduce health inequalities, and to increase healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035. These are bold commitments that need holistic action across multiple policy areas.
The economic gains from reducing place-based health inequality could be significant, and doing so is crucial for the national economy, local prosperity, and a recovery from COVID-19.
Local government has a pivotal role in achieving these gains. This report outlines policy to make health improvement a joint enterprise between local and national government, and recommends three 'paradigm shifts' for a new approach to health and prosperity.