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Tackling healthcare inequalities in access, experience and outcomes

Posted: 21st July 2022

In collaboration with NHS England and The Health Foundation, we are pleased to announce the publication of a national Tackling healthcare inequalities in access, experience and outcomes guide’.

Co-written by the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN and an expert reference group, the resource provides NHS system leaders, managers, clinicians and operational staff with high impact actions and best practice examples within the most deprived communities across the five clinical areas of CORE20Plus5.

The guide, which includes real world examples and four key actionable insight themes, will support systems to use healthcare inequality data effectively, harness leadership, design new models of care and embed sustainable action to drive down healthcare inequalities. The themes will also be of interest to the voluntary community and social enterprise sector (VCSE), local authorities, patient groups and other stakeholders to influence and effectively hold to account their local NHS.

Richard Stubbs, CEO of Yorkshire & Humber AHSN and Vice Chair of the AHSN Network, commented: “Reducing health inequalities is at the heart of our activity at the Yorkshire and Humber AHSN and the health and care systems we work with across our region. The NHS has a key role to play in the early identification of inequalities and implementing targeted community-based interventions, co-designed and produced with people with lived experience.

It’s been a pleasure working with NHS England, The Health Foundation and members of our expert reference group to harness the great work taking place across the country to tackle this important agenda. We’ve seen some fantastic examples of partnership working between health, local authority, voluntary sector services and importantly people and communities to help reduce health inequalities within local populations, particularly those in the most deprived areas.

We would like to thank all those involved, including the case study providers for helping to create an evidence-based resource which aims to support the NHS to continue addressing inequalities by providing equitable healthcare, ensuring positive patient experiences, and delivering the best health outcomes for communities across the country.”

Jo Bibby, Director of Health at The Health Foundation, said: “This joint initiative between NHS England, the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network and the Health Foundation has shown that the NHS has grasped the challenge of addressing inequalities in access to, experience of and outcomes from care. It is not enough to have a service that is free at the point of need, if everyone cannot enjoy the same outcomes from that care.

I hope this guide will help clinicians and managers across the NHS identify the action they can be taking now to create a health system that provides a fairer service for all”

Dr Bola Owolabi, Director – Health Inequalities Improvement at NHS England said: “The Tackling healthcare inequalities in access, experience and outcomes guide is testament to the effectiveness of a collaborative approach to achieving our shared purpose of narrowing the healthcare inequalities gap.

“Our 5 Strategic Priorities for narrowing healthcare inequalities and the Core20PLUS5 approach help systems to understand the ‘what’ in terms of reducing healthcare inequalities, this new guide helps to set out the ‘how’. I am confident that using the content in this guide, alongside other tools like the Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Dashboard, will enable Integrated Care Boards, Partnerships and Systems as well and individual NHS organisations to take tangible action in narrowing the health inequalities gap – and equip them with ideas on interventions that will make an impact.”

To secure a broad range of input when developing the guide, we conducted a literature review, held roundtable discussions with external stakeholders and engaged widely with service providers and people with lived experience. The project resulted in the development of 32 case studies, many of which feature in the guide, and all will be made available on the Future NHS platform in due course.

You can access the guide on the NHS England website

If you would like more information about this project or our work to support our region reduce health inequalities, please contact