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Health inequalities and the social determinants of health

20 March 2012

Health outcomes such as life expectancy continue to improve in the UK thanks to improved social, medical and health care conditions. However these improvements mask a widening gap between the health outcomes of the wealthiest and the most deprived communities.

The RCN is committed to diminishing health inequalities and therefore fully endorses the six key policy objectives cited in Fair Society, Health Lives, which are:

  • Give every child the best start in life
  • Enable all children, young people and adults to maximise capabilities
  • Create fair employment and good work for all
  • Ensure a healthy standard of living for all
  • Create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities
  • Strengthen the role and impact of ill health prevention

The current health reforms in England must ensure that local Health and Wellbeing Boards, Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health England are held accountable for closing the inequality gap.

For further information, please email

Page last updated - 23/03/2017