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May 7, 2024
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Guest blog for the Inequalities in Health Alliance

The Inequalities in Health Alliance (IHA) is a coalition of more than 250 organisations, convened by the Royal College of Physicians, which campaigns for a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities.

This month, our President, Greg Fell has written a guest blog as part of a series by IHA’s member organisations. In the blog, Greg writes about the role that local authorities have in protecting and promoting good health and the importance of a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities.


When the IHA was formed, Directors of Public Health (DsPH), were in the eye of the storm leading the local response to Covid-19, despite not always being involved in national discussions or decisions.

Although just one part of the job, during the pandemic health protection naturally became the focus. As well as being a reassuring voice in local media, DsPH were involved in contact tracing, sourcing PPE, encouraging compliance with social distancing and lockdown, liaising with care homes and schools, encouraging vaccine take up and much, much more.

It quickly became clear that some communities were being hit harder than others, both in terms of fighting the virus and in relation to the financial, educational, and social consequences of lockdown. Where health inequalities already existed, they grew worse, and where they didn’t, they emerged, causing the gap to widen to such a degree that public health organisations stepped up their calls for action through the IHA.

Today, the campaign’s call for a cross-Government strategy to reduce health inequalities remains unmet and ever more urgent due to the devastating impact of the cost-of-living crisis…

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