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UK Facing Health Inequalities Issue

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Introduction To Health Inequalities

It is said that England was the first European country to pursue a better socio-economic health inequalities policies in a manageable form. In this essay a document is prepared on policies that have been chosen for reducing health inequalities, implementation of policies and outcome of those policies. This essay is about to address British government policy in respect with forming policies for reducing health inequalities and also to form a critical evaluation on this topic. British health government polices comprises of education, employment, food and transport, which provides a detailed overview of health population and also describe the areas for improvement (Lea and et. al, 2005).

Health Inequalities Causes

Health inequalities are known to be systematic and structural differences in health between or with social groups within the population. From the research it is found that health inequalities are closely linked to social determinants of health because it refers with the factor influencing the health status (education, health, employment, housing and income) (Hurford, 2003). Health inequalities are concerned with cause of the cause. In the words of Marmot, heath care in health inequalities do exist but this are not considered as principle cause of inequalities status.

Inequality in health arises because of social inequality, not because of inequality in health. In the year 1998, Acheson report showed some number of recommendations based upon evidence and also set priority areas for health enquiry areas that have to be tackling (Asada, 2007).

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Health Inequalities Report

  • In Acheson report (Dowler and Spencer, 2007), areas for improvement were described but specific targets were not described which let policy makers in a state of confusion. This let not to applied this recommendation nationally (Bray, 2009).
  • Policy Mismatch, recommendation that were formed in Acheson report was not properly backed with evidence. There’s found a disconnection between evidence and recommendation, which apparently undermined report. To generate specific recommendation, it is needed to have strong evidence (Trust, 2010).
  • Cost effectiveness, as said above that Acheson report was failed because it doesn’t showed a cost for each recommendation. The term was referred that each recommendation should be affordable but there cost was missing. This makes them unfeasible for applying this recommendation (Evaluate the effect of the Acheson Report 1998, 2013).

Health Inequalities in UK

Now here, current situation or improvement made in health industry in UK will be discussed. In the year 1997, when new government came into existence they embarked a series of actions to gather evidence and set policy to address the problem of growing public health. In 2002, UK government become so active and feels the importance of health and methods to remove health related problems (Budrys, 2010). To work upon this, UK department of health worked with the treasury to develop a joint report on tackling health inequalities.

Priority Targets In UK

In the same year, the government of UK has developed reports in respect of tackling health inequalities. To overcome this they have profounder 6 priority targets, they are:

  • Assuring to provide a healthy foundation through healthy pregnancy and also to offer healthy growth to early childhood.
  • Government of health department develops a policy to provide an improved opportunity regarding health of children and young people (Barraclough and Gardner, 2007).
  • Improving National Health services on primary basis to enhance health care and to remove health inequalities.
  • Profound effective measures for killer diseases like cancer and Coronary heart diseases so as to retain large number of people in this world.
  • Strengthening backward class communities and work for their better living and for better health services.
  • Handling and analyzing determinants or factors that lead to health inequalities (Barraclough and Gardner, 2007).
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Process Model

The main aim that has been noticed, of UK government is to improve the health of poor. Fast it will be reduces, fast will be health equalities. This lies at the heart of the PHWP i.e. public health white paper (Corlett, 2012). The current government was putting so much emphasis on reduction of health inequalities and for that they have set out plans in the public health white paper. The Marmot has explored the most effective model or evidence based strategies for reducing health inequalities in UK in the year 2010.

That six process model is:

  1. Prenatal
  2. Pre-school
  3. School
  4. Training
  5. Employment
  6. Retirement

Government of UK are so much active in reducing health inequalities and so for that they have concurred few development in recent years are: Parental employment and child health, Family structure, Immunization, Lead exposure, research on obesity, nutrition and physical activity on early children and young people, Smoking and last UK policies in respect with child health inequalities (Ormshaw and et. al., 2013).

Recommendation

Some recommendation has made and some are still to come. In the year 2008, government has announced 13.5 million euro to improve health disadvantageous areas where 83 geographical areas will be helped to implement health related services. Secondly another sum of amount i.e. 2.5 million euro will go into health community’s initiatives (Watt and et. al., 2005). Finally, in 2007 the government has announced pacesetters programme, which aims to improve the health and well being of deprived areas. This includes families that are affected by diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Decision Making Process

Next challenge is to find a proper way to ensure that evidence contribute in political decision making process (Milstead, 2011). It is levied on both who collected the evidence and for those who uses those evidence. The main challenge comes is that; the information that has collected should be used in a proper a manner and should be available as and when required. Public or government who uses this information becomes their challenge to develop effective skills in a critical manner for appraisal of evidence and to best fit that information in available evidence.

Challenges

Another challenge is that, those who seeks to remove health inequalities, their findings and implementation for them access to services and access to resources is considered as most difficult and challenging in public health (Program for Healthcare Policy and Implementation, 2011).

The critical and most challenging question for health practitioners is to how to motivate and encourage the social movement to support political efforts for removing health inequalities. These efforts are made to remove unacceptable levels of health inequalities from the society. Another challenge is to overcome the social ills that exist in the market or in the society of UK (Smith, 2011).

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is now concluded that, health inequalities is not just limited to forming an effective polices but also related with proper implementation of framed policies and the evidence that supported for forming such policies. Proper research is necessary to find an effective evidence to guide policy maker to form new policy in respect with removing health inequalities (Public Health Dialogue on policy: an evidence based future, 2013). This essay concluded that, deprived areas of England and disadvantageous community have to be taken care of. Their proper health, study, employment and diseases from which they are suffering from have to be concentrated.

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Refernces

Journals

  • Chaplin, E. and O'Hara, J., 2007. Policy implementation in England: developments to meet the mental health needs of people with learning disabilities. Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. 1 (1). pp.7 – 12.
  • Corlett, S., 2012. Policy watch: implementing the mental health strategy. Mental Health and Social Inclusion. 16 (4). pp.164 – 168.
  • Department of Health. 2001. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance. 14 (7).
  • Hurford, G., 2003. Auditing power and policy in UK mental health services. Managerial Auditing Journal. 18 (2). pp.112 – 121.
  • Lea, E. and et. al., 2005. Food industry awareness of consumers' plant food beliefs. British Food Journal. 107 (8). pp.556 – 571.
 
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