Social Context shows up Health Inequalities
- 18 Mar
Jeremy Hunt backs a report showing that the health care system should use their role to improve health from a social perspective.
The report, released by the Institute of Health Equity, shows that health professionals are perfectly positioned to help tackle health inequalities from the wider social context instead of just a medical one.
Working for Health Equity: The Role of Health Professionals gives suggestions on how to tackle the health inequalities, using health professionals, based on evidence of case studies.
It has been calculated that addressing health inequalities in the way the report suggests could save the NHS £5.5bn a year, and the Health Secretary said the NHS had a legal duty to reduce health inequality.
The report describes areas where greater action is necessary and possible and makes some practical suggestions about how to take forward action on the social determinants of health.
It contains recommendations and analysis in six core areas, and contains nineteen Statements for Action about actions health professionals can take to tackle the social determinants of health through their practitioner role.
The report also sets out a series of commitments and future work programme, from twenty relevant organisations. These cover each of the six priority areas in this report, and display an impressive ambition to take forward action on the social determinants of health.
These commitments will form the basis for an on-going programme of work led by IHE and will be developed, tested and implemented further and it develops over the next few years.
- A greater focus on information about the social determinants of health, and information on what works to tackle health inequities, should be included as a mandatory, assessed element of undergraduate and postgraduate education.
- Communication, partnership and advocacy skills are all general areas that will help professionals to tackle the social determinants of health. There are also specific practice-based skills, such as taking a social history and referring patients to non-medical services, which should be embedded in teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
- Both knowledge about the social determinants of health and skills to tackle these should be taught and reinforced as a compulsory element of CPD. Universities should take steps to ensure that students from all socio-economic backgrounds have fair access to health care careers.
- Health professionals should refer their patients to a range of services - medical, social services and other agencies and organisations, so that the root causes of ill health are tackled as well as the symptoms being medicated.
- Health professionals should utilise their roles as managers and employers to ensure that staff have good quality work, which increases control, respects and rewards effort, and provides services such as occupational health. They should use their purchasing power, in employment and commissioning, is used to the advantage of the local population, using employment to improve health and reduce inequalities in the local area.
- Partnerships within the health sector shoud be consistent, broad and focussed on the social determinants of health.
Individual health professionals and health care organisations such as local NHS Trusts should act as advocates for their local community, seeking to improve the social and economic conditions and reduce inequalities in their local area. Individual health professionals, students and professional bodies such as medical Royal Colleges should advocate for policy changes that would improve the social and economic conditions in which people live, and particularly those that would reduce inequalities in these conditions. They should target this advocacy at central government, and bodies such as the NHS Commissioning Board.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1080174
- 25 May
CARE HAS IMPROVED CONSIDERABLY IN ENGLAND
Almost three fourth of 372 care homes rated inadequate in 2014 and still operating have improved.205 care homes have improved from a low rating to requiring improvement, 68 are now rated good and 99...
- 24 May
NHS ADJUSTMENTS TO BUDGET CUTS
NHS trusts which have been previously rated good or outstanding will not be inspected as frequently as before, but those rated as inadequate will be regularly visited by the CQC.The Guardian reports...
- 19 Mar
Government to inspect if housing can reduce NHS costs
In the Budget document the government have said it's looking at the ‘cost-effectiveness of options to integrate spending around some of the most vulnerable groups of people.' This includes...
- 15 Oct
End of life patients are lacking support
The charity has found that almost 92% of NHS clinical commissioning groups do not provide round the clock telephone helplines, reports the BBC.Guidelines say there should be 24-hour telephone...
- 15 Sep
Social care is being limited due to council cuts
ADASS are warning that cuts are making the care system "unsustainable" with charities saying hundreds of thousands of people are struggling without help, even though the government says councils have...
- 17 Jul
Young people should not be placed in B&Bs says MPs
The Commons Education Select Committee has said that B&B accommodation is "threatening and frightening" and should only be used in emergency situations reports the BBC.MPs say that young people...
- 16 Jul
Special measures system designed to improve failing care homes
A scheme similar to special measures of hospitals will be introduced for care homes and home care agencies next year, ministers will say, reports the BBC.This will cover 25,000 services and could...
- 14 Jul
Research says that one in three Alzheimer's cases can be prevented
The research says that the main risk factors of Alzheimer's is lack of exercise, smoking, depression and poor education, reports the BBC. Alzheimer's Research UK said age was still the biggest risk...
- 10 Jul
NHS boss says those with vulnerabilities need joint health and care budget
Simon Stevens wants to see older people, those with disabilities and people with serious mental health problems given joint pots from the NHS and council-run social care services, reports the...
- 17 Jun
Council falters in reviewing autistic man’s care plan
According to Community Care:"The ruling was made by the Local Government Ombudsman after the man's mother complained that his physical and mental health deteriorated in the two-year period after...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "I found the event informative and timely it helped me to complete our response to DWP without which I would have struggled." S.S. - Safe House