NHS Providers launches guide to tackling health inequalities

NHS Providers has launched a guide for NHS trust board members to tackle health inequalities, while warning that failure to act urgently on these disparities will put overstretched health and care services under even more pressure.

'Reducing health inequalities: A guide for NHS trust board members' has been designed to help NHS trust board members drive down unjust differences in health outcomes in their local communities.

The guide covers a range of topics, including operational and clinical service delivery and the role of NHS trusts as anchor institutions and employers of NHS staff.

It also sets out what effective action on health inequalities entails, and suggests objectives for board members to implement within their trusts.

There is also a focus of on the critical importance of NHS trusts' role in addressing health inequalities, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has exposed existing disparities.

There are a few key components of the guide including Leadership and accountability, Strategic focus, Data analysis and Building capacity.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers said: "In the face of mounting pressures on the healthcare sector, tackling health inequalities is both a moral imperative and a strategic necessity for the NHS.

"The pandemic laid bare the deep-seated inequities that persist within our society, disproportionately affecting vulnerable and marginalised communities.

"The launch of our guide underlines the critical role NHS board members play in this battle. As healthcare leaders, they hold the key to reshaping policies and services to address some of the root causes of disparities.

"Failing to act not only exacerbates pressures on our already overstretched services but also undermines the very ethos of equitable healthcare.

"Now is the time for decisive action to ensure every patient receives the care they deserve, regardless of their background or circumstances."