Policy report

The disease of disparity

A blueprint to make progress on health inequalities in England
Health services accessibility National Health Service (NHS) Social determinants of health Health inequity Public health England

Today, a child born in the most deprived part of the country can expect to die 10 years before a child born in the least deprived part of the country. They can expect to fall into poor health 20 years sooner – in just their mid-50s – and to live a far greater proportion of their life in poor health. This is unfair and unsustainable – and the scale of health inequality in this country is a key reason it lacked resilience when Covid-19 struck.

This report identifies six areas where policy incentives are misaligned with an ambition to tackle health inequality, and makes recommendations across the NHS and the socio-economic drivers of poor health.

Combined, these provide a constructive plan to tackle the ‘disease of disparity’ in England – and to achieve the health, social and economic gains possible from addressing health inequality.

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