Tag Archives: Social Determinants of Health

‘If livin’ were a thing that money could buy / The rich would live and the poor would die.’  It is, and these lines, from a spiritual temporarily made famous in the 1960s by Joan Baez, remain the best succinct description of the origins of health inequalities. Occasionally, that reality thrusts itself into the consciousness of the high-income world, as in the case of Hurricane Katrina and the Grenfell Tower disaster.  In the case of Katrina, when the hurricane hit and the levees broke (after years of governmental neglect), evacuation plans presumed that everyone had access to an automobile.  Those who […]
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Paradigmatic shifts in academic disciplines occur as a result of the interaction of a complex set of factors. The old paradigm must be exhibiting a demonstrable ‘crisis’. And the new paradigm must be championed by individuals that possess adequate commitment to mould it in the face of the inevitable resistances that will be posed by adherents and beneficiaries of the old paradigm. Peter Draper, who died on 30 July 2016, was a dogged champion of the need for public health practice to break out of the narrow medical and environmental focus that had characterised social medicine in the period immediately […]
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North West Leicestershire is about to publish its Local Plan. An inch thick, this pedestrian document tells us that this Council will co-ordinate a wide range of other organisations to ensure infrastructure is provided at the right time and in the right place to absorb the impact of new housing developments and provide for the health needs of people moving into the area. The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. At a recent Policy Development Group, a cross-party committee of elected Members pursued the fate of £1.3M of developer contributions for health that remained unspent, some of it […]
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As the 2010 Marmot Review (and before that the 2008 WHO report on Closing the Gap) makes clear, significant improvements in population level health, as well as reductions in health inequalities, require actions that tackle the social determinants of health. However, traditional public health policy has tended to focus on modifying individual lifestyles, rather than addressing the more fundamental causes. The suggestions so far put forward as the SHA’s submission to the Labour Party’s Public Health Policy review also largely focus on these downstream determinants. This review process is an ideal opportunity to put forward more upstream, social determinants based […]
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In  2015 austerity continues and we will still be recovering from the disastrous reorganisation of the NHS, the impact of the chronic under funding of social care and major issues over housing.  From 2015 our care system will have to develop in ways very different to the approach when there was relative prosperity and increased investment on a significant scale.  What must determine our approach to policy – 20 points to consider? We live in a society which is too unequal and must look to improve well being overall by tackling the social determinants of poor health and wider inequality. […]
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The NHS may have been designed by a Liberal, William Beveridge, but it remains the UK’s clearest manifestation of socialist politics in popular action. And the NHS is popular: repeatedly near or at the top of opinion polls of reasons for national pride. So what does the Socialist Health Association, founded before the NHS, want to see in a 21st century health service? First, we want a care system where improvements in wellbeing come through action on the social determinants of health. We want the service to be an integral part of our public services: closely linked to education, housing […]
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