Health inequalities are complex and multi-faceted, they are influenced by socio-economic issues and will likely impacts groups with protected characteristics, those living in deprived areas and other marginalised groups. As an integrated healthcare system, our priority is to work closely with our residents, communities and partners to reduce the inequalities faced by many. For those using our health and care services we want to ensure that we achieve equitable access, excellent experience and optimal outcomes for all.
Narrowing the gap in heath and care inequalities
You can read and hear about what the ICS is doing to narrow the gap in health and care inequalities across mid and south Essex.
What we want to achieve
Our overarching aim is to support residents within Mid & South Essex to live longer healthier lives in thriving communities with every resident making informed choices in a strengthened health and care system. As an ICS we intend to drive purposeful action to reduce inequalities, our overriding commitment to achieving this is through four ambitions.
Read about our ambitions for mid and south EssexWhat we do
1. Creating Opportunities
For our communities to thrive we need good education, opportunities for employment, decent housing and a vibrant local economy. Our Partnership represents some of the largest employers and purchasers of goods and services locally, so we have an important role to play. By working together, we can harness these opportunities for the benefit of local residents.
2. Supporting Health and Wellbeing
By working in different ways and in closer partnership with our communities we can do more to prevent the things that cause poor health and mental illness. Up to 40 per cent of ill health can be avoided so by getting a grip on issues sooner we can stop them becoming bigger problems in the future.
3. Bringing Care Closer to Home
Joining up our different health, care and voluntary sector services means we can bring services closer people’s homes – whether that is through support on-line, or by bringing health and care services into the community, such as some hospital outpatient appointments, tests like x-rays and blood tests and support for people living with long term conditions like diabetes or breathing problems.
4. Improving and Transforming Our Services
We want to make sure our residents have the highest chances of recovery from their illness or condition, and to give them the best treatment we can. Demand for services is changing as people grow older and live with more long-term conditions and there is much more we could do with technology, medical advances and new ways of working to treat people at an earlier stage and avoid more serious illness.
Where we are now
The Covid 19 pandemic has shone a harsh light on the inequalities experienced disproportionately by some groups. With a shared urgency to reduce the impact of inequalities during the pandemic we have significantly increased our collaborative working which has strengthened our ability to drive impactful action to reducing inequalities.
Listening to our communities
We have identified that we need to better understand the needs of our communities, we are committed to listening, understanding and building together. We aim to ensure local voices are not just heard but are central to how we design and transform our health services. We are improving the way we seek and hear the voices of groups who experience the worse access to health & care services and health outcomes. We our residents sharing their lived experiences and working with us to design and shape services which addresses their needs we hope to see a reduction in inequalities.
Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
Our Primary Care Networks (PCNs) play a vital role in reducing health inequalities. PCNs are supporting patients daily through a proactive approach to identify and support those patients at the risk of worsening health. PCNs use a personalised care approach to deliver care which is tailored the to the patient’s personal circumstances. Each PCN has put into place a health inequalities improvement intervention for identified patient groups who have poorer health outcomes.
Across the four local Alliances strong collaboratives have been formed amongst NHS organisations, Primary Care, Health and Wellbeing Boards, Local Authority Public Health, Social Care and children’s services, voluntary sector organisations. Working collectively to address agreed key priorities, the Alliance collectives are able to work at a local level to better understand community needs and deliver services which address the causes of inequalities.
Addressing Wider determinants
Improving health inequalities by transforming our health and care service to ensure equitable access and improved health optimal outcomes for those experiencing poorer outcomes is only part of the what we need to do. Inequalities are driven by wider social and economic factors. As an ICS have a strong focus on improving the economic and physical environments. Deprivation is a significant cause of inequalities, as an ICS a priority is to reduce the inequalities experienced by those in our most deprived wards. We are working with Local Authorities to reduce homelessness, reduce fuel poverty and improve the quality of homes that our families live in.
We will use our position as anchor institutes to invest back into our communities. Using our large estates and resources are able to support their local community’s health and wellbeing and tackle health inequalities, for example, through procurement, training, employment and professional development. By teaming up with health and care partners, local councils and the voluntary and education sector, we can reduce our environmental impact and create exciting and innovative employment, volunteering, internship and network opportunities for those we serve.Find out more
How will we know we’ve made a difference?
- A reduction in the gap of Inequality in Life Expectancy
- Our children will achieve good development and education attainment
- Homelessness will reduce and more families will be living in good quality homes,
- Our residents will report good access to and experience of our health services
- Our resident will live longer, healthy lives and be supported to make good decision on their health and wellbeing.