Professor Kate Pickett, Health Inequalities lead for the CLAHRC for Yorkshire and Humber presented at the conference, “If You Could Do One Thing…” sponsored by Minding The Gap and Public Health England, in Leeds on 27th June, 2014. The event showcased the report from the British Academy focused on actions and interventions that could be adopted by local authorities and health and wellbeing boards to address health inequalities. As the majority of inequalities in health can be traced to social conditions, the talks focused on reducing the gap on the social determinants of health, not on health behaviour change. Professor Pickett’s presentation was titled: Addressing Health Inequalities Through Greater Social Equality at a Local Level: Implement a Living Wage Policy. She also gave a presentation on how the CLAHRC for Yorkshire and Humber can work with local authorities.
The event was attended by over 100 people, including representatives from Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Calderdale Council, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull City Council, Kirklees Council, Leeds City Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, North Lincolnshire Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council, Wakefield Metropolitan District Council and York City Council. There were also representatives from Public Health England, several universities, NHS England and other organisations concerned with public health.
In related news, Bradford Trident (http://www.bradfordtrident.co.uk/), a community led company working in the BD5 postcode area of the city, has secured £50m from the Big Lottery Fund’s A Better Start: Fulfilling Lives programme (http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/betterstart). The funds will be used to implement the Better Start Bradford programme - a 10-year community-led partnership which will run a variety of projects and initiatives to support families and children at key stages of their early years development. Part of the programme will involve Born in Bradford hosting an Innovation Hub, led by Kate Pickett, to develop innovative solutions to improve health. The key feature of Better Start is a ‘systems change’ in the way that local health, public services and the voluntary sector will work together to put prevention in early life at the heart of service delivery and practice. This project is an exciting opportunity to harness academic expertise with communities and local service providers to increase the level of health and wellbeing for families in an area that currently experiences large health inequalities.