Overcoming health inequalities in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods

This report explores health disparities faced by ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods in England. Areas identified as ‘left behind’ have among the worst health outcomes, with growing disparities between them and the rest of the country. People living in these areas are 46% more likely to have died from COVID-19 than those in the rest of England, and 7% more likely to have died of the virus than those in other deprived areas.

The report assesses health inequalities in local communities, and shares initiatives from and within those neighbourhoods to reduce inequalities and improve wellbeing.

Key findings:

  • Previous public health initiatives to reduce health inequalities have been discontinued, and the absence of a strategic approach to this policy area has seen outcomes in the most deprived and ‘left behind’ areas of the country worsen further
  • The Hinvolvement of local people in decision-making and resource allocation is likely to enhance innovation, and improve the effectiveness and acceptability of community initiatives, increasing the potential of securing longer-term health improvements.
  • Tackling the health inequalities facing local authorities with ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods and bringing them up to England’s average could add an extra £29.8bn to the country’s economy each year.

Key recommendations

The report ends with five policy recommendations for both national and local authorities, adding a strand on health inequalities in national strategies, improving funding and budgets, and prioritisation of services for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods.

Read the report here.


NGO/Civil Society Document, Policy & Policy Analysis
Financial security, social protection, social inclusion, access to care, poverty, Groups that experience vulnerability: women, ethnic minorities, LGBTI+, migrants, disability
United Kingdom

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