PCRS joins the Inequalities in Health Alliance
PCRS has joined the call for more action across government to reduce health inequalities.
We are proud to have joined the Inequalities in Health Alliance, a coalition of over 140 organisations focussed on improving the health of the nation.
Health inequality is a major driver of respiratory conditions. Incidence and mortality rates from respiratory disease are higher in disadvantaged groups and areas of social deprivation (NHS). Areas of deprivation have higher smoking rates, higher levels of air pollution, poorer housing quality and populations that work in industries with greater exposure to occupational hazards – all contributing factors to lung disease. A report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (2017) found children living in poverty are also at greater risk of respiratory conditions, due to poorer diet and lifestyle which can lead to underdeveloped lungs and higher risk of respiratory illness later in life.
COVID-19 has had a detrimental social and economic impact that will undoubtedly affect some communities far more than others. The pandemic has revealed long term weaknesses in the healthcare system and has had a disproportionate effect on the vulnerable, deprived, and different ethnic communities. With those in deprived communities more likely to get ill and die from COVID-19. New technological advances and greater reliance on the digital delivery of healthcare, whilst positive for many, risk those that don’t have access to such technology being left behind.
PCRS believe in developing and delivering holistic, patient centred, integrated healthcare. A fundamental aspect of this is tackling inequality in health.
The Inequalities in Health Alliance is calling on the government to
- develop a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities – strategy must reach across government – this is not just a problem for the Department of Health and Social Care
- commence the socio-economic duty, section 1 of the Equality Act 2010 – to ensure that the needs of vulnerable people are considered in every decision.
- adopt a ‘child health in all policies’ approach – as good health begins in childhood.
If you are a member of PCRS and have any examples of case studies where social factors have affected health – like air pollution and asthma, exposure to occupational hazards and COPD, or poor housing quality and lung disease, the IHA would like to hear from you. You can submit your example here. Please also share your case study with us here at PCRS via firstname.lastname@example.org.
 https://www.england.nhs.uk/ltphimenu/respiratory/respiratory/ (last accessed 13/05/2021)