Addressing the National Syndemic: Place-based problems and solutions to UK health inequalityAddressing the National Syndemic
This report is a summary of workshops held over the first half of 2021. The workshops consisted of stakeholders discussing how to take effective action to reduce health inequalities.
The report is titled Addressing the National Syndemic. A syndemic describes “two or more diseases” that synergise to make each other worse and include societal as well as biological drivers of poor health. Discrimination and disadvantage existed long before the coronavirus, yet the pandemic has clearly exposed how both result in poor health and drive health inequalities.
This report draws on existing literature, the four roundtables and many
contributions (both written and verbal) from people around the UK who are
making a difference. The scope of the report has been directed by Professor Sir Michael Marmot, who has worked over the last 40 years to demonstrate that health inequality is profoundly unjust and not inevitable. The moral argument has been supplemented by evidence showing that action can be highly impactful and cost effective.
This report demonstrates that when the private, public and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sectors and communities work together, it is possible to create more equitable and healthy societies. It is not the responsibility of one person or system to reduce health inequality, but the collective and collaborative accountability of all.
The report was a collaborative effort between UCL IHE and Public Policy Projects, in partnership with Novartis and Cerner