What are health inequalities and healthcare inequalities?
Health inequalities are unfair and avoidable differences in health across the population, and between different groups within society. Health inequalities are experienced due to a range of factors, known as the wider determinants of health, into which we are born, grow, live, work and age. These influence opportunities for good health, and how we think, feel and act, and these conditions shape our physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Healthcare inequalities are differences that exist for groups in our population with regards to access, experience and outcomes in health care services. Examples of healthcare inequalities can include access to GP services, with fewer surgeries in areas of deprivation or worse outcomes for black and minority ethnic women in childbirth. Research has shown that healthcare inequalities contribute around 20% to overall health inequalities.
For information about the health inequalities in Coventry and Warwickshire, click here to view Local Data and Statistics.
Addressing inequalities in health and care
One of the key roles of the ICS is to ensure that tackling healthcare inequalities is embedded throughout the system The COVID pandemic highlighted and exacerbated inequalities, so it is important that services are restored inclusively and that tackling inequalities is at the heart of recovery plans and performance monitoring.
Key priorities in our strategy
The key priorities of our healthcare inequalities strategy are to reflect those of the NHS Operating Plan:
- Restore services inclusively
- Mitigate against digital exclusion
- Ensure datasets are timely and complex
- Accelerate preventative programmes
- Leadership and accountability
We are also working to the NHS England priorities within the Core20Plus5 models for adults and children & young people.