Health inequalities across the region need urgent attention – according to the Yorkshire Post


As we head towards an uncertain winter, with the energy crisis putting further pressure on an already stretched NHS, the study, which shows people in so-called red wall areas are living three years less than the national average, a somber read.

After all, it is the poorer communities that are hit first and hardest if proper support is not provided.

Choosing between heating and eating could result in more of these people getting sick.


But it’s not just about this winter. A long-term vision is needed to tackle health inequalities.

Moving up should not only be about improving the regions’ economic prospects, but also ensuring that everyone, regardless of geography, can enjoy long and healthy lives.

The NHS is facing the challenge of overwhelming demand and stretched capacity and, as Matthew Taylor writes in his column, there needs to be a shift towards proactive rather than reactive care.

It is for this reason to welcome the announcement that, as part of a study in England, GPs will start prescribing walking and cycling to improve mental and physical well-being and to address health inequalities.

Since 2011, health inequalities between the most and least disadvantaged communities have widened.

And the government has reportedly delayed the release of its long-promised plan to tackle health inequalities. It needs to be published as soon as possible so that work to reduce these inequalities can begin.


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