Studying Health Inequalities: An Applied Approach

Health inequalities and measures to reduce them are explored in this excellent text. It critiques the issues in the context of the Marmot Review of health inequalities, which was commissioned under Labour, its evidence and the Health and Social Care Act 2012 that followed.

While many chapters are densely packed and not always an easy read, it is worth persevering as some important points are made. There is a strong appraisal of the subsequent coalition government’s approach to tackling health inequalities and the neo-liberal agenda.

There is also evidence from the now-disbanded Health Inequalities National Support Team and an easy-to-read account of effective public health practice, with links made between individual and community interventions. Attention to ‘invisible’ populations, such as gender, in the data used is interesting.

The commissioning tool name ‘Christmas tree diagnostic’ is a term that is arguably not inclusive, and it is also worth noting that the title does not reflect that the data used is from England only.

However, for anyone in the UK concerned with health inequalities and health policy, this is an interesting and relevant overview. I would recommend it to nurses studying health policy at level 6, as well as those studying public health and health promotion at master’s degree level.

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