Health inequalities are the differences, variations, and disparities in the health status and health outcomes of individuals and groups.
Health inequities are avoidable inequalities in health between groups of people within countries and between countries. These inequities arise from inequalities within and between societies.
Examples of health inequities within countries:
- Life expectancy at birth for men in the Calton neighbourhood of Glasgow is 54 years. This is 28 years less than that of men in Lenzie, a few kilometres away.
- The prevalence of long-term disabilities among European men aged 80+ years is 58.8% among the lower educated versus 40.2% among the higher educated.
“Health inequalities that are preventable by reasonable means are unfair. Putting them right is a matter of social justice”. Marmot Review: Fair Society, Healthy Lives (2010)
For an overview of some of the key inequalities in Kirklees please have a look at the KJSA Kirklees Overview section.
The social gradient
Poor social and economic circumstances affect health throughout life. Life expectancy is shorter and most diseases are more common further down the social ladder. This social gradient in health runs right across society.
Life expectancy calculations based on GP registered population July 2014 and deaths 2013-15 (ONS)
Data from National Child Measurement Programme 2013/14 (Kirklees)
Index of Multiple Deprivation 2015
The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) measures relative deprivation, ranking areas relative to others in England.
Distribution of IMD 2015 deciles across Kirklees
Several documents have been produced, summarising IMD 2015 at local, regional and national level.
Kirklees summary: http://observatory.kirklees.gov.uk/resource/view?resourceId=4510
Regional summary: http://observatory.kirklees.gov.uk/resource/view?resourceId=4548
An additional comparison of changes in IMD rank between 2010 and 2015 for Kirklees is available here:
Equality Act 2010 – Public Sector Equality Duty
The three main elements of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) are:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act
- advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
- foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
In fulfilling our Public Sector Equality Duty we must ensure that we demonstrate that we have followed a number of key principles:
- Real consideration
- Sufficient information
- No delegation
- Proper record keeping
We need to provide evidence that we have given due regard to any potential discriminatory impact on people with protected characteristics in shaping policy, in delivering and making changes to services, and in relation to our own employees.
We must always consider whether a service change, decision or policy could have a discriminatory impact on people with protected characteristics, not just any impact that is the same as it would be for everyone else.
When we referring to protected characteristic groups the PSED includes nine specified groups which are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
The broad aim of the general equality duty is to integrate consideration of the advancement of equality into the day-to-day business of all bodies subject to the duty.
The general equality duty is intended to accelerate progress towards equality for all, by placing a responsibility on bodies subject to the duty to consider how they can work to tackle systemic discrimination and disadvantage affecting people with particular protected characteristics.
For further information on the public Sector Equality Duty here is a link to some national guidance and the link to further information on the Equality Act. Also importantly Kirklees Council is taking a new approach to Inclusion and Diversity which you can view on the website under the tab Inclusion and Diversity which will provide you with details of our new Policy Statement.
More details on protected chacteristic groups in Kirklees can be found in the KJSA population section.
In 2010, Sir Michael Marmot published a report, Fair Society, Healthy Lives, reviewing evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities: http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review
The Institute of Health Equity has published a set of indicators broadly corresponding to the policy recommendations in Fair Society, Health Lives.
Marmot indicators 2015 – overview: http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/Content/FileManager/Indicators2015/marmot-indicators-2015-background-document-final-26-11-15.pdf
Other health and wellbeing indicators
Public Health profiles: http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/
Public Health England segment tool provides information on the causes of death that are driving inequalities in life expectancy at a local level: http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/segment
Public Health Outcomes Framework: http://www.phoutcomes.info/
Public Health England data and analysis tools: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/phe-data-and-analysis-tools
The Centre for Cities web site contains a set of economic indicators for the 63 largest cities and towns (primary urban areas) in the UK, including Huddersfield/Kirklees: http://www.centreforcities.org/data-tool/
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has produced a useful summary of the reasons for the growing gap between rich and poor people in OECD countries over the past 30 years: Divided we stand: why inequality keeps on rising (OECD)
Date this section was last reviewed