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Government Review: Tackling Health Disparities

The government has announced leads for two separate independent reviews to tackle health disparities.

Findings from these reviews will form part of wider plans to level up the country and reduce existing inequalities through the Health Disparities White Paper which will aim to enable people across the country to live longer, healthier lives are moving forward.

A review into potential ethnic bias in the design and use of medical devices will be led by Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead, professor of public health at the University of Liverpool. The way medical devices and technologies are designed and used has raised concerns about the impact of ethnic background on a patient’s diagnosis and treatment, exacerbating existing inequalities in healthcare.

Separately, Javed Khan OBE, former CEO of children’s charity Barnardo’s, will lead an independent review of the government’s bold ambition to make England smoke free by 2030. Whilst the government has made good long-term progress in reducing smoking rates to their lowest ever level, there are an estimated 6 million smokers in England and smoking is still one of the largest drivers of health disparities.

Both independent reviews will form part of the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities’ agenda to tackle inequalities in health and care, which will include the publication of a Health Disparities White Paper in spring and a Tobacco Control Plan later in the year.

More information can be found here.