Leading for social justice and health equality

Leading for social justice and health equality

Nye Bevan visiting patient in 1940s

In the evolving systems working world, senior leaders have the potential to drive improvement in population health – balancing our own organisations interests with those of the wider system for the greater good of our communities, patients and staff, improving overall population health outcomes. This potential requires leaders to continually gain insight, develop their understanding and cultural awareness, understand and address the impact of decisions on reducing health inequalities and improving population health. This means that local communities and workforce feel they are able to access the care and support they need and nobody is  marginalised, excluded or left behind.

Understanding Health Inequalities

There are stark differences in health outcomes across the UK driven by complex and multi level dynamics. Understanding these is key as a leader to being able to understand the work of the people around you and working toward contributing toward health equality for local communities.

Population Health Management

Population health management sees organisations and systems using data to better understand population risk and behaviours to improve and tailor care to patients. Understanding and using population health management approaches can support Integrated Care Systems in improving health equality for everyone.

Resources: Tackling inequalities in healthcare access, experience, and outcomes – published on 21 July 2022, this guide has been commissioned by The Health Foundation and NHS England and co-written by the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network with an expert reference group.

Resources: The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, focus on improving the nation’s health so that everyone can expect to live more of life in good health, and on levelling up health disparities to break the link between background and prospects for a healthy life.

Resources: The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has published an update to the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) published on 2 August 2022, which sets out a high-level overview of public health outcomes, at a national and local level. This includes updated figures on inequality in healthy life expectancy at birth in England. The new release shows that the difference in healthy life expectancy at birth between the most and least deprived areas in England was 18.6 years for males and 19.3 years for females in 2018 to 2020 and has not changed significantly since the last period. The PHOF allows local authorities to assess progress in comparison to national averages and their peers, and develop their work plans accordingly.

Resources: 8th August 2022 – A podcast exploring the relationship between digital inclusivity and heath and care equality has been released by the national Innovation Collaborative for digital health. Dr Bola Owolabi, Director, National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme, NHS England and Roz Davies, Associate Director of Thrive by Design, discuss the needs of seldom heard groups, reflect on key learning and progress and offer advice for teams working on digital projects like technology-enabled remote monitoring.

Resources: NHS Providers has launched a new health inequalities programme, supporting trusts to make sense of health inequalities and embed a focus on narrowing the health inequalities gap as part of their ‘core business’. A new blog sets out their plans and includes details of resources, upcoming events and webinars.

Resources: Fingertips is a large public health data collection held by The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. Data is organised into themed profiles. Start by choosing a profile from the list.

Resources: For Equity – providing tools and resources to help make research evidence more relevant for action to reduce social and health inequalities. A Focus On Research and Equity in collaboration with the National Institute for Health and Care Research’s (NIHR) School for Public Health Research and NIHR’s Applied Research Collaboration North West.

Resources: The Health Anchors Learning Network (HALN) is a free UK-wide network. It provides spaces and opportunities for participants to learn with peers and experts about how anchor organisations can use their resources, influence and work in partnership to improve the social determinants of health and help reduce inequalities.

Resources: Social Justice and Health Equality – Health Education England – primarily aimed at clinicians this chapter of the HEE Enhance Programme handbook is a great resource in considering your impact as a leader.

Resources: Equality and diversity | The King’s Fund (kingsfund.org.uk)

Website: Institute of Health Equity The UCL Institute of Health Equity was established in 2011 and is led by Professor Sir Michael Marmot with the aim of developing and supporting approaches to health equity and build on work that has assessed, measured and implemented approaches to tackle inequalities in health.

Webinar: Professor Sir Michael Marmot on The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World The Policy Institute at Kings College London 2022

Webinars: The Complete Care Community Health Inequality Summit – 6th July 2022. The Complete Care Community Programme (CCCP), delivered by Healthworks with NHS Arden & GEM, supports Primary Care Networks across England to identify and narrow health inequalities in their local area. Healthworks, work with health and care systems to improve efficacy and efficiency for the benefit of populations and patients