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Reducing Inequalities

Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair differences in health and wellbeing between different groups of people whose circumstances or characteristics are different. They include issues like difference in average life expectancy and ease of access to healthcare services.  

As an ICS, we want to tackle health inequalities in our area, with an overarching aim to ensure that everyone living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has the same life expectancy, no matter where they live. 

The ICS has already established a Health Inequalities strategy, underpinned by a Health Inequalities Board.  

Within our Health Inequalities strategy, we have agreed a number of key priorities. These are:

  1. A system-wide approach to addressing health inequalities, underpinned by population health management methodology 

  2. Addressing inequalities through needs-based commissioning through the allocation of NHS funding proportionate to need 

  3. Tackling inequalities in cardiovascular disease through targeted action on hypertension and diabetes 

In 2022/2023, we will continue to build from the strong foundations laid out in our strategy. Some examples of ongoing projects to tackle health inequalities include: 

  • Restoring services inclusively. We are working to ensure that recovery of NHS services following the significant impacts from COVID-19 in 2020/2021 is progressing in an equitable, fair way across the area. This includes using waiting list data and other analysis to identify inequalities, with the information used to inform how we work to reduce local waiting lists in a way that is equitable and fair for all of our people. 

  • Working to tackle digital exclusion. As the digital health services offer grows, people with limited or no access to the internet or have a lack of knowledge or confidence in using services online are increasingly becoming excluded. We have launched an innovative Health Inequalities Challenge Prize to promote and support local innovation to tackle digital exclusion. We are also Supporting GP practices to engage with their patients through Digital Champions on the things that matter to them, to find solutions that will make a positive difference for the local patient community. 

  • Accelerating preventative programmes. We are proactively strengthening and developing programmes aimed at preventing ill health, such as diabetes management programmes, stop-smoking services, and vaccination and immunisation campaigns. 

As an ICS the reduction of health inequalities is our core ambition, that will run through everything we do. We will continue to work to make sure that our people  across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have equal outcomes, experience and access throughout their lives.