Funding announced to tackle health inequalities

Local authorities are set to receive funding for research into health inequalities in their local area.

£50 million is being invested to improve health outcomes across the country.

13 local authorities will receive the funding, which will be used to set up Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRCs) with experts and academics addressing knowledge gaps in local areas.

The areas set to receive funding include Tower Hamlets Council, Newcastle City Council, Doncaster Council, Aberdeen City Council, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Plymouth City Council, Gateshead Council, Blackpool Council, Coventry City Council, Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Council, The London Borough of Lambeth, Medway Council and Islington Council.

Research will be conducted into the local challenges affecting people's health in areas such as childhood obesity, Covid recovery and mental wellbeing and drug use.

The funding is part of the government's Plan for Patients which aims to support people to stay well and in the community with the intention to ease pressure on health and care services.

This is the first time local authorities will receive funding for research into health disparities.

Minister of State for Health, Robert Jenrick, said: "The pandemic shone a light on the stark health inequalities that exist across the country – we are committed to levelling up the health of the nation.

"This funding will drive progress to address health challenges locally, particularly in the places and communities most affected by ill health such as high levels of obesity, drug use and poor mental health.

"Everyone should be able to live long, healthy lives regardless of their background and where they live, and this new research will help us deliver on our ambition."

Professor Jim McManus, President of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health, said: "We know that health inequalities are one of the major barriers facing communities the length and breadth of the country, especially for disadvantaged groups and areas.

"HDRCs will help drive the research culture within local government, building on the local knowledge that authorities already have and enable what is being done to be more readily researched and evaluated to make a difference to local people.

 

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