In response to the announcement Dr Mike McKean, RCPCH Vice President for Policy said:
We welcome this move towards tackling health inequalities at a local level. Research suggests that local authorities are well placed to both assess and address a community’s manifestations of health inequalities. We look forward to learning more about this coming research and how it will work towards improving health outcomes for all children and young people.
In the meantime, national action is still very much needed. Health inequalities across the UK are becoming entrenched, with those living in the least deprived areas expected to live far longer, while also experiencing a greater proportion of their lives in good health. Moreover, these systemic inequalities are estimated to cost the NHS an extra £4.8bn a year. We need the health disparities white paper to be published as promised to tackle health inequalities on a national scale, this can no longer wait and must include a focus on children and young people.