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Cambridge Public Health

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New policy brief outlines actions required to improve health for the whole population

Good health for all the population requires economic growth and social change which are clean, green and sustainable. Good health is not a cost to business and the taxpayer, it is the outcome of a vibrant economy and dynamic, publicly funded health and social care provision.

A new policy brief, published by Cambridge Public Health, sets out the policy actions required to improve health for the whole population. It covers three key areas: social change, involving all sectors; government collaboration with the private sector; and engagement with place and local communities.

The policy brief was developed by researchers that focus on addressing health inequalities in CPH. It draws on discussions that took place during a policy roundtable in July 2022 that aimed to identify a new path forward for levelling up health in the UK. The session highlighted key examples of how UK policy has been successful in the past, with a need now for renewed effort to achieve health for all.

Key points:

  • The trajectory of levelling up health is not fixed. It is possible to influence both the gradient and gaps in UK health differences through sustained cross-government commitment and working with communities who are most affected.
  • Covid-19 acts as a pivotal opportunity for renewed focus on health disparity, with the pandemic having demonstrated the severity and consequences of UK health differences.  This focus must now be sustained through the changing the political landscape.
  • It is crucial that future policy has a simultaneous focus on individual level behaviour change and long- term systemic change to achieve health for all.
  • Reframing how health disparity is approached is necessary for continued progress to counter haphazard, unsystematic intervention. A destigmatising narrative shift is required across all policy arenas to promote a vision of collaboration and a sustainable future.