Online guide from NHS Providers to serve as roadmap for tackling health inequalities

NHS Providers has launched an online guide designed to support NHS board members in tackling health inequalities, with the aim of the resource acting as a “roadmap” to enable people to “champion health equity and create positive change”.

The guide includes a self-assessment tool covering 25 questions around data, evidence and evaluation, strategic leadership and accountability, system partnerships and more, with the tool to provide a score and maturity rating of the trust’s position across key domains. A “bespoke” set of health inequalities objectives are then suggested by the self-assessment tool, with NHS Providers encouraging trusts to use these as a basis for board-level discussion.

Four priority objectives are also set out within the guide for the consideration of all trusts; one of these priorities encourages trusts to carry out data analysis to develop their understanding of health inequalities within a trust’s communities. A key focus of the guide is on enabling enhanced data capture and reporting mechanisms to improve identification of disparities as well as how to address them.

NHS Providers’ deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery comments that the launch of the guide “underlines the critical role NHS board members play in this battle. As healthcare leaders, they hold the key to reshaping policies and services to address some of the root causes of disparities. Failing to act not only exacerbates pressures on our already overstretched services but also undermines the very ethos of equitable healthcare. Now is the time for decisive action to ensure every patient receives the care they deserve, regardless of their background or circumstances.”

Find out more here.

In November, we reported on Amanda Pritchard’s speech to the NHS Providers Annual Conference in which highlighted the role of virtual infrastructure, digital platforms and data architecture as “increasingly important” in the health service for their potential to “support patients to get what they need more easily”.

Last year we also interviewed David Williams, head of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, and heard about his views on funding and prioritisation, how digital can add value and efficiencies, and more. Click here to read.

On health inequalities, we highlighted how a digital healthcare hub has been set up in South Yorkshire with the aim of developing health technologies and tools which can utilise data to support patient outcomes and tackle inequalities.