Commenting on the letter sent to the Prime Minister from the Inequalities in Health Alliance (IHA), to which the NHS Confederation is a signatory, calling for an explicit cross-government health inequalities strategy, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“The vaccination program has shown that determination and creativity is needed in order to reach out to disadvantaged communities to connect with them and ensure they are accessing the service they need.
“Health leaders know first-hand the huge impact COVID-19 has had on people living in deprived areas and those from ethnic minority backgrounds, however they also know systemic inequality existed long before the pandemic hit.
“If we are to have any hope of tackling health inequalities once and for all there needs to be focussed action across government coupled with a concrete, real-world strategy that sets out clear ambitions for the role we can all play in driving down the chronic disparities in health and well-being that persist across the country.
“We will continue to support our members and their local partners to help their communities to overcome health disparities, helping people to live longer, healthier lives, especially as the government rolls out its levelling up agenda.”