IMPROVE PEOPLE'S HEALTH
Every person’s health is important. It determines our ability to enjoy life, care for our family and contribute to our community. We are fortunate to have a national healthcare system, which was established to ensure that every person has access to the health care and services they need.
However, there are underlying social, economic and living condition issues that lead to health inequality. The gap in life expectancy across England between the best and worst-off is 7 years. In London, this rises to 17 years, and in Glasgow there is a 28-year difference in life expectancy between rich and poor.
We see a role for United Way UK to help address this imbalance. We want to lead collaborative initiatives that ensure:
- Children understand the importance of nutrition and have access to the food they need
- Children understand the importance of physical exercise and are encouraged to play outdoors
- Nobody’s living conditions lead to ill health and are a protector from it
- Health care professionals understand the underlying social and economic issues that can lead to ill health and refer individuals under their care to the appropriate services
- A holistic approach is taken to health care and patients with physical or mental illnesses are treated for all aspects of their condition
- Preventative health care is prioritised and families, communities and workplaces are encouraged to adopt a preventative approach
It is calculated that addressing health inequalities could save the NHS £5.5billion a year.*
WHAT ARE WE DOING IN THE UK?
In Liverpool, we are leading Active at 60. Many health studies show a proven link between loneliness and the increased likelihood of becoming ill, both physically and mentally. Depression in particular is highly prevalent among the socially isolated. The Active at 60 project aims to address isolation through community based activity, reducing the negative impact on physical and mental health. The ultimate aim of this project is to achieve a total of 350 community activities/events with 1500 people engaging in them, with a network of self-sustaining community hubs left in place.
In London, we are supporting and representing all charities working effectively on health issues across the capital.
We are actively seeking charities, businesses and individuals who already work or want to work to make a difference to health inequalities on a local or national level. If this is you, please do get in touch.
*Fair Society, Healthy Lives. The Marmot Review, Strategic Review of Health Inequalities in England post-2010