England is the largest nation that forms part of the United Kingdom with a population of over 50 million inhabitants. It operates as a parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy. The UK joined the EU in 1973 and since then its economy has gone onto become one of the largest in the EU with an increasingly services-based focus, although it maintains industrial capacity in high-tech and other sectors. The City of London is a world centre for financial services.
Its welfare model derives from a liberal regime, where state influence is weaker than that of the market and modest benefits are in place. In the English system a model was developed, the so called Beveridge system, where there is universal access to care and the level of benefits is above the minimum. Healthcare in England is mainly provided by England's public health service, the National Health Service, which provides healthcare to all permanent residents of the United Kingdom that is free at the point of use and paid for from general taxation.
The issue of health inequalities has been researched for a significant period of time in England. The Black Report (1980) was the first major report to demonstrate the correlation between poverty and health. Although it was shelved for political reasons by the Conservative government, it is still an important historical milestone. Following the election of New Labour in 1997 social justice emerged as a key political commitment together with an explicit emphasis on tackling health inequalities. The Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Report (1998) by the Department of Health to review the evidence on inequalities in health in England proved to be of major national and international significance and led to further action in the area of health inequalities.
Health inequalities have been high on the agenda of politicians in England since New Labour came into power in 1997. Since then the issue of health inequalities has become a shared responsibility across government. Another aspect that has changed over the years is that policy responses in England were first very much a top down approach while it is now adopting more and more of a ‘local edge’. Public Health programmes are moving from NHS coordinated initiatives to local government actions, which are addressing specific needs of certain areas of the country and/or population groups. The direction of initiatives is thus coming from the national level, while the action is taking place at the lower level. It is expected that this trend will continue in the future.
An overview of policy responses addressing health inequalities in can be found in our Policy Database.
|An overview of projects and initiatives that are currently taking place or that have successfully been finalized, and that are addressing health inequality issues, can be found in our Good Practice Database.|
Please find below an overview of key actors in England working on health inequality issues:
Are you aware of any other key actors that should be added to this list?
Please find below an overview of relevant documents addressing health inequality issues in England. Further publications can be found in our Publications Database.
Are you aware of any other key resources that should be added to this list?
|New Equity Action report on the use of Structural Funds for Health Equity|
|WHO Europe: Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region|
|New report by European Commission on Health Inequalities|