Multi-million pound ‘Places Fund’ is to be established to reduce health inequalities across the UK
17 June 2021
Legal and General and IHE have announced a new partnership to reduce health inequalities including a multi-million pound ‘Places Fund’. The Legal & General (L&G) IHE Places Fund will examine how improvements to the design and construction of our towns and cities can help address health inequities.
L&G is also set to ask companies to show what they are doing to improve health and inequality before investing. As reported in The Times on 19 June, the L&G/IHE partnership means that major companies from supermarket chains to landlords and retailers could have to pay more attention to their impact on health as employers, providers of goods and services, and as investors. L&G wants so-called ESG – environmental, social and governance – credentials to become ESHG to recognise the role of businesses play in health.
In light of the pandemic, which amplified social inequalities, our Build Back Fairerreport argued that we must seize the opportunity to build a fairer, healthier society. The Fund will sit alongside a new health equity L&G IHE Networkto bring business together with local government and the voluntary and community sector to make a real difference to the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, and to health equity.
While the correlation between health and wealth has become ever clearer, the research in this area has tended to focus on the health service and role of government in finding solutions. Exploring the role of business as employers, providers of goods and services and as investors and innovators represents an important next step.