About Us

The UCL Institute of Health Equity

Our History 

The UCL Institute of Health Equity was established in 2011 and is led by Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

Health inequalities are the systematic differences in health between social groups. Where they are judged to be avoidable differences they are inequitable, unfair. Putting them right is a matter of social justice. Reducing these inequities requires actions to improve the social determinants of health – the social, economic, political, physical and cultural conditions that shape our lives and our behaviours. 

The IHE leads and collaborates on work that addresses the social determinants of health and improves health equity. Two key pieces of work provide the basis for IHE’s approach:  

In 2013 Coventry became the first Marmot Place. Since then many places across England and Wales have also become Marmot Places - putting health equity at the heart of their local strategies.

In 2020 IHE published Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 Years On which showed the impact of a decade of cuts to services related to the social determinants of health: life expectancy declined among people living in areas of higher deprivation; and more of their shorter lives were spent in ill-health. The report also showed an increase in the North/South health gap. Overall, there was a slow-down in improvement in life expectancy.

We work with: National, regional and local governments, global organisations, businesses, communities and the voluntary sector  and public health and health care organisations and other public services to strengthen their approaches to reducing inequalities in the social determinants and in health.  

What we do  

Since 2011 we have worked with a range of organisations and places across the UK and around the world to tackle health inequalities. Our work involves:  

Developing the evidence base

We work with local, national and international organisations to ensure up-to-date and high-quality research evidence is used in the design and implementation of policies and practices to reduce health inequalities.  We do this by: 

  • translating evidence into practice  
  • identifying gaps in research and filling the gaps where possible 
  • monitoring trends in health inequalities and social determinants of health  
  • holding governments and organisations to account for action on health inequalities. 

Developing actions that work 

 We work to shape the development and delivery of interventions in Marmot Places and in organisations that have impacts on health to ensure they have health equity at their heart and address the social determinants of health. We strengthen the health equity system to ensure prioritisation of health equity, accountability, capacity investments and monitoring and evaluation. 


  • disseminate research evidence and best practice through our work with places, organisations, our website and with the Health Equity Network 
  • work with social and traditional media and present our evidence to a range of organisations, from large global meetings to local community groups.

Building capacity

We are committed to building the capacity of organisations to understand and deliver on actions to reduce health inequalities. We do this by: 
  • developing and delivering training courses and publishing resources for the workforce 
  • mentoring and collaborating with individuals, organisations and Marmot Places