Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsMARY RENFREW: Hello, and welcome to the last week of the course. You're nearly there. Well done to everyone who's kept going and made it this far. Last week, we looked to a regional project here in Scotland that works with vulnerable pregnant women. We learned from the improvement approach used in this project and looked at some related issues, such as lifestyle factors, and their impact on health. This week we'll be looking at a project in Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow. As you might expect with a large city, it has a significant challenge with deprivation. The project we're highlighting this week aims to break down barriers that stop people from getting the support they need to lead happier and healthier lives.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsWithin Glasgow and its surrounding areas are some of the most deprived places to live, not just in Scotland, but across the UK. The proportion of the population who experience inequalities as a result of this deprivation is significant. And considerable health challenges come with that. If you're a boy born in certain areas of Glasgow, for example, your life expectancy can be as low as 54. When thinking through service planning in health and social care, there are some simple, practical steps that can make a big difference. For example, do people know what services are available and how to access them? Are services available to the people who might need the most?

Skip to 1 minute and 30 secondsAccessing services might need a journey across the city that many people won't be able to afford. Maybe setting up more accessible community services, as has been recommended in the recent Scottish government review of maternity and neonatal services, would help people to find the help and support they need. Perhaps offering more of a one-stop shop approach would help, rather than expecting people to find ways to access different services at different times. For example, a person seeking addiction counselling might have other life challenges, homelessness, financial worries, or a lack of employable skills, for example.

Skip to 2 minutes and 13 secondsBut if that person, or the organisation he or she is engaged with, doesn't know what help is available or what to ask for, he or she may not get the complete solution. To access health and social care services in Scotland, a person either needs to be able to read and write in English in order to read leaflets and fill in forms, or they need the assistance of a translator. Literacy and numeracy skills are necessary in order to understand prescriptions and to measure medications. Without some understanding of how the body works and the causes of disease, it will be difficult to understand how your actions impact on your health.

Skip to 2 minutes and 56 secondsOne way to combat this is to improve health literacy skills across the population. As more services are being provided by the internet, technical skills and access to computers and mobile devices to access information about health also becomes an issue. Not everyone has equitable access to technology, so there's a risk that some people could be excluded. Most importantly, to understand how to overcome the barriers that people have to accessing care, we need to hear how people have made a difference in their own lives, and how other people can learn from that. In addition to that, our services need to work differently, to collaborate across health and social care, to take a whole life view of the people we serve.

Skip to 3 minutes and 46 secondsThis week, we'll look at one way that this has been implemented here in Scotland. I hope you'll share what's happening in the cities near you to reduce health inequalities. How do you think we can develop health literacy across our populations? And how can health and social care work together to provide more equitable services? Thanks for watching. I'll see you again at the end of the week.

Welcome to Week 4

Welcome to the final week of the course. Well done to everyone who has taken part.

Last week, we looked at two improvement projects that work with two different vulnerable populations. Both projects contain elements of health promotion and behaviour change. Improving the health literacy of the groups the projects engage with is a fundamental part of their success.

You saw issues of access, experienced because people in prisons are in an environment where they lack control, and where some pregnant women struggle to access care due to nomadic and chaotic lifestyles. In both cases, improving health education and ongoing support from practitioners and mentors played a part in improving outcomes for these groups.

This week, we’ll be looking at a project where GP surgeries are used as hubs to support the wider health and social concerns of patients in deprived areas. The project responds to the inverse care law that we talked about in Week 1, directing care towards the people who are in most need, but who might also have the most challenges in accessing services.

First, we’ll look at deprivation rates across Europe, and examine some of the health inequalities that this causes.

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Tackling Inequalities Through Health and Social Care Design

University of Dundee

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