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Health, Disease and Mortality

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1v2xT3o

The associated evidence summary is: Local action on health inequalities: Good quality parenting programmes and the home to school transition

Summary
1. When children start school, a good transition from the home or nursery environment is important, particularly for those who live in more difficult circumstances, who have special needs, or for whom English is not a first language.
2. Good home to school transition programmes have been linked to better outcomes, particularly for at-risk groups, meaning these programmes have a role to play in reducing inequalities in outcomes.
3. Practices to support children’s start at school, such as open days, familiarisation lessons and visits, are linked with them making a better adjustment to the school environment and having improved social and emotional skills.
4. Support for parents through the transition period can also be helpful in reducing anxiety and social isolation.

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ZWtvHB

The associated evidence summary is: Local action on health inequalities: Improving access to green spaces

Summary
1. There is significant and growing evidence on the health benefits of access to good quality green spaces. The benefits include better self-rated health; lower body mass index, overweight and obesity levels; improved mental health and wellbeing; increased longevity.
2. There is unequal access to green space across England. People living in the most deprived areas are less likely to live near green spaces and will therefore have fewer opportunities to experience the health benefits of green space compared with people living in less deprived areas.
3. Increasing the use of good quality green space for all social groups is likely to improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities. It can also bring other benefits such as greater community cohesion and reduced social isolation.
4. Local authorities play a vital role in protecting, maintaining and improving local green spaces and can create new areas of green space to improve access for all communities. Such efforts require joint work across different parts of the local authority and beyond, particularly public health, planning, transport, and parks and leisure.

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1ytu7CS .

The associated evidence summary is: Local action on health inequalities: Fuel poverty and cold home-related health problems

Summary
1. A household is in fuel poverty if it is on a low income and faces high costs of keeping adequately warm and other basic energy services. Fuel poverty is driven by three main factors: household income, the current cost of energy and the energy efficiency of the home.
2. Fuel poverty is associated with cold homes. England’s housing stock is made up of relatively energy inefficient properties which can result in homes that are difficult or costly to heat. However, households can be cold without being in fuel poverty if people choose not to heat their homes adequately where they have the means to do so.
3. A social gradient in fuel poverty exists; those on lower household incomes are more likely to be at risk of fuel poverty, contributing to social and health inequalities.
4. The most recent data on fuel poverty in England indicates that there were 2.28 million fuel-poor households in 2012
5. Cold homes can affect or exacerbate a range of health problems including respiratory problems, circulatory problems and increased risk of poor mental health. Estimates suggest that some 10% of excess winter deaths are directly attributable to fuel poverty and a fifth of excess winter deaths are attributable to the coldest quarter of homes.
6. Cold homes can also affect wider determinants of health, such as educational performance among children and young people, as well as work absences.
7. Tackling fuel poverty and cold home-related health problems is important for improving health outcomes and reducing inequalities in health in England. Local authorities and public health are well placed to address issues relating to fuel poverty.

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1tnWbWY

The associated evidence summary is: Local action on health inequalities: Health inequalities and the living wage

Summary
1. Evidence shows that insufficient income is associated with worse outcomes across virtually all domains of health, including long-term health and life expectancy.
2. The negative health effects of living on a low income can be caused by material factors (the inability to afford the items necessary for a healthy life) and/or psychosocial factors (such as ‘status anxiety’).
3. Adopting the living wage has been shown to improve psychological health and wellbeing among employees and increase life expectancy.
4. Local authorities can lead by example as a major employer by paying a living wage to all directly employed staff and, where appropriate, contracted staff. The rationale and benefits of the living wage will need to be explained clearly to partners.
5. Innovative approaches to implementing the living wage in procurement, including applying the Social Value Act 2012 might also be used.

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1wrW2i6

The associated evidence summary is:Local action on health inequalities: Increasing employment opportunities and improving workplace health

Summary
1. Being in good work protects health and wellbeing. Work is an important source of income needed for a healthy life and provides social opportunities that are good for health and wellbeing.
2. Poor working conditions contribute to early retirement. Older people in more disadvantaged social positions are more likely to have difficulty finding and keeping a job. Both issues contribute to health inequalities.
3. A range of employer approaches are likely to increase employment opportunities and retention among older people including measures to promote fair recruitment, equal training opportunities, flexible working, improvements to the physical and psychosocial work environment, phased retirement and succession planning.
4. For employers, the benefits of employing and retaining older workers can include reduced turnover and recruitment costs, positive employee feedback, retention of skills and experience and transfer of knowledge.

 

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1nj6dps

The associated evidence summary is:Local action on health inequalities: Increasing employment opportunities and improving workplace health

Summary
1. Disabled people and those with long-term health conditions have far lower employment rates than other groups. Disability is more common among people in more disadvantaged socio-economic positions.
2. Differences between the health and employment prospects of people with a long-term health condition or disability are a source of health inequalities. Being out of work can contribute to further deterioration in health among people with a long-term condition or disability.
3. Local authorities can promote local employer awareness of national employment programmes, such as Access to Work, and guidance and legislation such as the Equality Act 2010. There are also examples of good local employment support programmes.
4. Evidence suggests that personalised, tailored support is effective in helping people with disabilities or long-term conditions into work. There is good evidence that individual placement and support programmes are effective for out of work people with severe mental health problems. A ‘health-first’ approaches that aims to improve health to increase the employability of incapacity benefit claimants is showing early promise.
5. Local authorities may be able to influence provision of local employment services by ensuring that employment service providers are members of health and wellbeing boards.

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1sGnqKi

The associated evidence summary is:Local action on health inequalities: Increasing employment opportunities and improving workplace health

Summary
1. There is a social gradient in working conditions. People in more disadvantaged socioeconomic positions are more likely to experience poor working conditions, which increases their risks of ill-health and contributes to health inequalities.
2. There is clear evidence that local authorities can work with employers to promote good quality work with many examples of good practice. Local authorities have a number of levers including provision of advice, enforcement of employer legal obligations, partnership working, incentivisation and accreditation.
3. Using contractual levers of procurement such as the Social Value Act 2012 also offer a means of promoting good quality work. Improving the working conditions and health of outsourced and contracted staff may help to reduce health inequalities.
4. Engaging organisations with high numbers of employees on more junior job grades, working long or irregular hours or on non-permanent contracts is likely to be the most fruitful way of securing positive working conditions for relatively large proportions of the most disadvantaged workers in local labour markets.

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1qiM6n6

The associated evidence summary is:Local action on health inequalities: Increasing employment opportunities and improving workplace health

Summary
1. Both the physical and psychosocial work environments can affect health. This briefing focuses on psychosocial conditions, which is about organisational culture.
2. The way work is organised and the work climate are contributory factors in the social gradient in health. Lower paid workers with fewer skills or qualifications are more likely to experience poor psychosocial working conditions and worse health.
3. Measures to improve the quality of work that focus more attention on workers in semiskilled and unskilled manual occupational groups may help to reduce inequalities in workrelated health problems.
4. There is evidence that psychosocial working conditions can be improved in a variety of ways, for example, by increasing employee control over their work and participation in decision-making, and with flexible working practices.
5. Effective leadership and line management training can also contribute to a better psychosocial work environment. Interventions to reduce stress and improve mental health at work, leading causes of sickness absence, will typically be important for improving workplace health.
6. Opportunities to participate in any schemes should be open to all employees and all groups should be considered during the design of schemes, especially those in semiskilled and unskilled manual jobs and temporary or fixed term workers.

This briefing was commissioned by PHE and written by the Institute of Health Equity. It is a summary of a more detailed evidence review on the same topic and is intended primarily for directors of public health, public health teams and local authorities. This briefing and accompanying evidence reviews are part of a series commissioned by PHE to describe and demonstrate effective, practical local action on a range of social determinants of health.

You can view the briefing by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1CcHHYP

The associated evidence summary is: Local action on health inequalities: Building children and young people’s resilience in schools

Summary
1. Resilience is the capacity to bounce back from adversity. Protective factors increase resilience, whereas risk factors increase vulnerability. Resilient individuals, families and communities are more able to deal with difficulties and adversities than those with less resilience.
2. Those who are resilient do well despite adversity, although it does not imply that those who are resilient are unharmed – they often have poorer outcomes than those who have low-risk background but less resilience. This applies to health outcomes and affects success in a range of areas of life across the life course. Evidence shows that resilience could contribute to healthy behaviours, higher qualifications and skills, better employment, better mental well-being, and a quicker or more successful recovery from illness.
3. Resilience is not an innate feature of some people’s personalities. Resilience and adversity are distributed unequally across the population, and are related to broader socioeconomic inequalities which have common causes – the inequities in power, money and resources that shape the conditions in which people live and their opportunities, experiences and relationships.
4. Those who face the most adversity are least likely to have the resources necessary to build resilience. This ‘double burden’ means that inequalities in resilience are likely to contribute to health inequalities.
5. Schools have a key opportunity to build resilience among children and young people, and there is a range of ways in which local authorities can support and encourage schools to take action.
6. Actions to increase resilience can be targeted at different levels - they can aim to increase achievements of pupils; to support them through transitions and encourage healthy behaviours; to promote better interpersonal relationships between people – particularly parents or carers and children; and to create more supportive, cohesive schools that support both pupils and the wider community.

This evidence review/briefing was commissioned by Public Health England and researched, analysed and written by the UCL Institute of Health Equity. These papers show evidence for interventions on social issues that lead to poor health, including ways to deal with health inequalities. You can use them to get practical tips for dealing with these issues. They also show examples from local areas showing interventions that have been used to improve health. The series includes eight evidence reviews and 14 short briefing papers.

The documents can be used by:

  • local authority professionals whose work has implications for health and wellbeing, such as children’s services and planning services
  • local authorities - particularly directors of public health and their teams - to build health and wellbeing strategies and Joint Strategic Needs Assessments
  • public health teams making a case for action on health inequalities
  • health and wellbeing boards making local public health strategies, including those covering service areas with health implications such as Local Plans and Growth Plans

This evidence summary can be accessed by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1nj0SP9

The full list of resources can be viewed on this page: http://bit.ly/YiMHgX

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