We have made a commitment to reduce health inequalities through improving access, experience, and outcomes. This means we will focus on:
- preventing people from becoming ill in the first place by tackling the wider determinants of health (the diverse range of social, economic and environmental factors which impact on people's health);
- supporting people to make positive health and wellbeing choices;
- improving access, experience, and outcomes of health and care services.
We approach this work in partnership with our colleagues in local government, the wider public sector, the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector (VCFSE), and – importantly – with the people and communities we are here to serve. This partnership approach is crucial to ensure we fully understand the challenges faced in our neighbourhoods and also to connect with the unique and valuable assets rooted in our communities.
Our strategy is ambitious and is a long term commitment. Based on national and international evidence, we know that some of this work will not deliver results for years to come, but we have to start now.
Our plan is to:
- Work with people, communities and our partners to address the factors that lead to poor health (eg improving educational attainment, housing and employment – we know this work may not demonstrate significant impact in the short term but it is important to start now so that we will start to see impact over decades to come
- Improve detection and diagnose illness sooner (eg stop smoking, improve access to health checks and screening) – we may start to see impact form this work in the medium term (8-10 years)
- Ensure that people with a disease receive the care that they need to avoid unnecessary exacerbations (eg managing cardiovascular disease) - the impact of this work is more visible in the short term (3-5 years)