The NHS Confederation along with the Inequalities in Health Alliance (IHA) have written to the prime minister calling for an explicit cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities.
The letter calls for setting up clear measurable goals considering the role of every department and every available policy lever.
Commenting on the letter 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.”
He added that health leaders are aware that the pandemic has had huge impact on people living in deprived areas and those from ethnic minority backgrounds. Besides, the systemic inequality existed even before the pandemic hit.
Taylor said to drive down the disparities in health and well-being “focussed action across government coupled with a concrete, real-world strategy” is needed.
“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.”