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June 28, 2023
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Joint statement on public health and poverty

In May 2023, in partnership with the Royal Society for Public Health, Faculty of Public Health and the Royal Society of Medicine, we came together to discuss the impact that poverty continues to have on public health and the solutions needed at the local and national level. Based on discussions on the day, we have produced a joint-statement which sets out the importance of tackling poverty in order to improve the health of the public.

We are committed to working together in this important area and, as part of our Manifesto for a Healthier Nation, ADPH are calling on the next Government to introduce a new Child Poverty Act which commits to ending child poverty in all parts of the UK by 2030

 Public health and poverty statement

Poverty is a long-standing problem in the UK and its impact on health outcomes is stark.

It is clear that the economic and social circumstances we live in have a greater influence on our health than any other factor. Rising poverty levels and widening health inequalities – exacerbated by the current financial crisis – have severe consequences for individuals and communities, the NHS, social care, and for the economy. There is now a 27-year life-expectancy divide in men, and a 21-year difference for women, between the least and most deprived areas of the country, and the stark difference in health outcomes between ethnic groups remains.

As the collective voice representing public health, we strongly believe there should be a focus on lifting people out of poverty and supporting them to lead healthier lives, but crucially also action to ensure children are not born into poverty.  Long-term bedrock policy solutions from UK governments are needed to ensure people are well enough to work, financially secure, live in good quality housing and have access to services including childcare and public transport, so they flourish and not just survive.

Those working in public health are doing the best they can with ever-dwindling budgets, but they cannot solve this alone. Collective action is needed from national governments, alongside businesses, NHS, charities and local councils. A strong public health approach will ensure we are a fair, healthy, greener and prosperous nation.


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