Wakefield and health inequalities

Health inequalities are differences in health and health outcomes between people or groups that are avoidable. Social, environmental and economic conditions mean some people have worse health.  They increase the risk of people getting ill, reduce their ability to prevent ill health and take action when they become ill. This can lead to shorter lives and more years lived with poor health.

People living in the least deprived areas of the country live around 20 years longer in good health than people in the most deprived areas.

Health inequalities are deepened by a range of factors, including personal characteristics, lifestyle, social networks, living and working conditions.  There is a relationship between some protected characteristics and health inequalities.

Reducing health inequalities means giving everyone the same opportunities to lead a healthy life, no matter where they live or who they are.  As a CCG we have a duty to reduce health inequalities.

A key factor of health is where people live, with poorer health outcomes being closely related to higher levels of deprivation. Some ethnic groups are far more likely to live in more deprived areas than others, resulting in further inequalities. Similarly, those who are considered vulnerable may also experience greater health inequalities.

NHS England has developed Equality and Health Inequalities RightCare Packs. These consider measures of health inequality and support us to identify areas of improvement in promoting equality and reducing health inequalities. This is the pack for Wakefield

Further detail about the needs of the Wakefield population is set out in our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and can be accessed through the JSNA website.  

The CCG trains staff to be aware of health inequalities and their impact on our communities and how they can be addressed. This includes presentations to commissioning staff to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities and the role they can play in reducing health inequalities. 

Population health management is a new approach that aims to improve physical and mental health outcomes, promote wellbeing and reduce health inequalities across an entire population.

We will use historical and current data to understand what factors are driving poor outcomes for different population groups. The data will be used to develop new models of care to improve health and wellbeing today as well as for the future.

This will include a focus on the wider determinants of health.  Only 20% of a person’s health outcomes are related to their ability to access good quality health care.

We will work in partnership across the NHS and other public services including: councils, the public, schools, fire service, voluntary sector, housing associations, social services and police. We all have a role to play in addressing the issues that affect people’s health and wellbeing.

For example, adults and children who live in cold, damp housing may be more likely to develop respiratory problems over the next 20 years because their lungs are affected by the mould spores in their home. If we improved their housing now by working with partners such as local councils and housing associations, they may not end up with various health conditions in the future which can result in poor quality of life (conditions like asthma, chest infections, and other respiratory problems) and could avoid the need for multiple health and care services.