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How Will Personalised Care Help Reduce Health Inequalities?

Explore a closer look at how personalised care will provide better outcomes for people who could benefit.
A cartoon picture of the scales of justice with different groups of people at each end of the scales.

Reducing health inequalities means giving everyone the opportunity to lead a healthy life, no matter where they live or who they are.

Health inequalities exist for a range of reasons including a person’s income, education, occupation and wealth. A girl born in one of the most deprived areas is expected to live 19 fewer years in good health, than a girl born in one of the least deprived areas.

The Equality Act 2010 protects the characteristics that can increase the chance of health inequalities. Here are the nine protected characteristics with examples:

  • Age

People who are 70 and over make up half of diagnosed cancer cases

  • Disability

People with a learning disability are more likely to die from respiratory disease

  • Gender

Men typically develop heart disease 10 years earlier than women

  • Gender reassignment

Trans people experience poor access to health care services

  • Marriage and civil partnership

Married people live longer than unmarried people

  • Pregnancy and maternity

Teenage pregnancy can affect education and employment

  • Race

People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

  • Religion or belief

Increased discrimination towards Muslims results in poorer overall health

  • Sexual orientation

More gay and lesbian people attempt suicide

As we know, COVID-19 has also highlighted the impact of health inequalities. People who face the greatest deprivation are more exposed to COVID-19. If they’re already in poor health they’re more likely to die if they catch the virus. We’ve also seen how people in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities have been particularly badly affected.

To tackle inequality, we need to give more attention to those at the greatest risk of poor health. Making health care more personalised is one way to do this. It means that people can access health and care services that are more tailored to their needs, make sense to them and focus on what really matters in their lives.

Where do you think personalised care can make a difference in reducing health inequalities?

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