Health Inequalities in England Post-2010 Strategic Review

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Smith of Leigh Lord Smith of Leigh Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the social and economic determinants of health inequalities identified by the Marmot Review, Fairer Society, Healthy Lives, published in 2010.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Fairer Society, Healthy Lives - the Marmot Review - provided a comprehensive analysis of the state of health inequalities in England, their causes, and evidence-based recommendations for action on social determinants of health. These are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These conditions are, in turn, shaped by political, social and economic forces.

The Marmot Review concluded there is a social gradient in health whereby the lower a person’s social position, the worse his or her health with people in more deprived areas having shorter lives and fewer years lived ‘in good health’ than those in less deprived areas. The Government has fully assessed the report, and it continues to inform our approach to reducing health inequalities which is now underpinned by legal duties.

Public Health England monitors the indicators on the social and economic determinants of health, identified by the Marmot Review, in its wider determinants of health web tool. In addition, through its Long Term Plan, the National Health Service has committed to all major programmes and every local area setting out specific measurable goals and mechanisms to reduce inequalities over the next five and 10 years. The NHS will also take action to cut smoking in pregnancy, provide outreach to homeless people and help people with severe mental illness find and keep a job.

The Mission in the Ageing Society Grand Challenge, announced by the Prime Minister last year, is to ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest.

This underpins the Department’s prevention vision published in November 2018 - Prevention is better than cure: our vision to help you live well for longer. In it, the Secretary of State for Health sets out our mission to improve healthy life expectancy so that, by 2035, we are enjoying at least five extra years of healthy, independent life, whilst closing the gap between the richest and poorest. A copy of the report is attached.

HL13307 attached report (PDF Document, 891.74 KB)

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