Today, we, as part of the Inequalities in Health Alliance (IHA) wrote for the third time to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for an explicit cross-government health inequalities strategy. We've previously received no response, followed by an unsatisfactory second response.
Read our letter
While the recent creation of the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, and the Levelling up Agenda have given some encouragement, a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities, led by and accountable to the Prime Minister is still desperately needed.
Our latest letter asks the government for clear measurable goals, that consider the role of every department and every available policy lever in tackling health disparities. This would enable more people to live longer and healthier lives, and to reduce cost to the public purse (pre-COVID £31bn-33bn) as well as pressure on the NHS.
Our Chief Executive Ali Rivett said: “People with MSK conditions are frequent users of primary, secondary, community-based, and social services. If health inequalities continue to increase, MSK numbers increase with it – meaning more patients for an already stretched workforce. It’s important the government recognises the gravity of the situation and that action is needed to tackle the wider determinants of health.”
Better levels of general health before the pandemic could have prevented many unnecessary deaths. The recovery from COVID-19 must be a turning point for the health of the nation. BSR is working closely with the alliance to monitor the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ agenda.
Read more about the IHA’s previous communications with the Prime Minister