Coronavirus: Disadvantaged

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 3rd August 2020.

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Photo of Karin Smyth Karin Smyth Shadow Minister (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to address health inequalities in areas of high deprivation that have been exacerbated by the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 29 June 2020

Public Health England’s (PHE) report ‘COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes’, published on 2 June 2020, confirmed that the risk of dying among those diagnosed with COVID-19 was higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those in the least deprived.

Every single person deserves to lead a long and healthy life, no matter who they are, where they live, or their social circumstances. We remain committed to levelling up and spreading opportunity around this country, which will be an essential part of the economic and social recovery from this crisis.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities, (Kemi Badenoch MP), is reviewing the findings from PHE’s reports to better understand the drivers behind the disparities and the relationships between the different risk factors. Her work will help us to improve our understanding of the virus and who it affects so we can build on the existing action we are taking to tackle health inequalities. This includes our childhood obesity plan, NHS Health Checks, our tobacco control plan and diabetes prevention programme. In addition the NHS Long Term Plan commits all major national programmes and every local area across England to set out specific measurable goals and mechanisms by which they will contribute to narrowing health inequalities over the next five and 10 years.

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