Briefing / The role of the NHS finance function in addressing health inequalities

06 July 2021 Sarah Day
1 CPD hour

The NHS has been legally required to tackle health inequalities since the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 but, since the Covid-19 pandemic, the focus on health inequalities has dramatically increased. The unequal impact of the pandemic across different sectors of society has highlighted existing inequalities and potentially created new ones. This is recognised in the 2021/22 planning guidance which requires NHS bodies to specifically address health inequalities in elective recovery plans and accelerate preventative programmes for groups at the greatest risk of poor health outcomes.

This short paper considers what is meant by health inequalities, what causes them and the impact that they can have on people’s health and the NHS. It considers the role that NHS finance staff can play in tackling inequalities and introduces a new HFMA programme of work to support members in this endeavour.

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