Local authorities are essential partners in the fight against health inequalities

By Tom Gardiner and Stephen Bradley | 25 October 2021

Of all the injustices in our society, none is more fundamental than the way material and social circumstances dictate how long we live and the proportion of our lives spent in good health. The pandemic has exposed shockingly unequal burdens of ill health. As clinicians, we have observed this first-hand.

The impacts of the pandemic have been far more wide-reaching than what we saw in a GP practice and on a respiratory ward. But these are the types of settings that most commonly spring to mind when people talk about the ‘front line’ of the country’s pandemic response. If we are to truly practice what we preach when we talk about the primacy of the ‘social determinants’ of health, we necessarily acknowledge that it is our local authority colleagues who have been at the forefront of attempting to mitigate the damage that COVID-19 has done to our population’s health and wellbeing, whether through unemployment, disruption to education or a parallel epidemic of social isolation. 

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