Health Equity Commission for Lancashire and South Cumbria

Date posted: 8th October 2021

Lancashire and South Cumbria is set to have its very own Health Equity Commission, chaired by International expert in health equity, Professor Sir Michael Marmot. This follows an agreement by Health and Community Leaders to form a regional Lancashire & South Cumbria Health Equity Commission (HEC) to improve health inequalities and help transform the health and wellbeing of people living in the region.

Lancashire and South Cumbria is home to a growing population of 1.8 million people. More of us are getting older and experiencing long-term health problems. Some of this disease could be avoided or the ill-effects slowed down if we took positive action to prevent it.

Living long, healthy and happy lives is a goal that everyone aspires to; unfortunately this is not the same for everyone, and there remain persistent and widening gaps between those with the best and worst health and well-being. This difference is unfair, unjust and avoidable. Health equity means striving for the highest possible standard of health for all people and giving special attention to the needs of those at greatest risk of poor health, based on their social and economic circumstances.

Following a launch webinar in September, which attracted over 500 delegates from all over Lancashire and South Cumbria, the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health Equity Commission (HEC) has fired the starting gun for health and community leaders to conduct reviews of health equity in their area with the express aim of improving the health of people in the region.  

With Professor Sir Michael Marmot as the Chair, the Health Equity Commission will consist of regional health, community, business and public sector leaders and influencers, as well as independent experts. The Commission will aim to provide local leaders, organisations and partnerships with the support they need to make health inequalities and the ‘prevention agenda’ a joint priority and provide a loud and clear voice in the region.  The initial scope of the HEC is to influence all partners to mobilise health and care to reduce health inequalities and its role in the economy.

During autumn 2021 the Commission will be asking local areas, Directors of Public Health, and Health and Wellbeing partnerships to identify their priorities, barriers to their work and any opportunities, or ideas that they need help in putting into action to make a difference. The Health Equity Commission welcomes submissions from members of the public, as well as organisations across Lancashire and South Cumbria by Friday 12th November 2021 (opens in a new window).

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Independent Chair of Lancashire and South Cumbria Health Equity Commission, and Director of the Institute for Health Equity said:

 “To reduce health inequalities, it is necessary to improve the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. The enthusiasm and commitment of local leaders to achieving health equity, inspires belief that this HEC will make a real differences to the lives of people in Lancashire and South Cumbria. It is a privilege to be associated with this endeavour.

David Flory, Independent Chair for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, the integrated care partnership said:

“We have launched an independent Health Equity Commission for Lancashire and South Cumbria. I am delighted that so many delegates attended our launch of the Health Equity Commission. Over 500 delegates registered for this event from every part of Lancashire and South Cumbria.  Seeing delegates from health including hospitals and primary care,  local authorities, universities, the voluntary sector, businesses, and other sectors such as transport, housing, and economic development was fantastic. If there is one thing we can do to improve the health and wellbeing of residents in Lancashire and South Cumbria it would be improving health equity.  This means everyone working hard to level up the health and related social and economic conditions for residents.  Doing this is important for everyone and as such it is everyone’s business so the level of involvement at the launch was incredibly positive. We are grateful and honoured that Professor Sir Michael Marmot has agreed to chair our Health Equity Commission, and he gave a superb, enlightening and passionate speech at the launch.  Health equity means creating a fair opportunity for everyone to live a long, healthy and happy life in Lancashire and South Cumbria. Inequities in health are not inevitable and they are certainly not necessary - they are unjust and are the product of unfair social and economic arrangements and conditions. The reduction of health inequalities is everyone's business, so we are welcoming everyone who wants to make a difference and improve the lives of Lancashire and South Cumbria residents”.

Find out more information here.

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