News brief ~ ADPH Minding the Gap @mindingthegapyh #HealthInequalities #Publichealth

News Brief – No. 1157 August  2018

Welcome to the One Hundred and Fifteenth edition of the ADPH Minding the Gap News Brief, the Yorkshire and Humber Health inequalities Programme.

Great North Run 2018

This year the Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) have offered a place in the Great North Run. The race takes place on the 9th of September and this year. It will be a challenge as I have to confess that the old bones are creaking even more than last year, however, I will not be beaten by something as insignificant as 13.1 miles of hideous pain and torture.

The wider issues related to Obesity are not well understood and why one person becomes obese opposed to another really does need investigation. The ASO is the UK’s foremost charitable organisation dedicated to the understanding, prevention and treatment of obesity and aims to develop an understanding of obesity through the pursuit of excellence in research and education, the facilitation of contact between individuals and organisations, and the promotion of action to prevent and treat obesity.

I would really appreciate your support for ASO, both moral and financial; your support will help to get me through the bad times and the charity will benefit as well.

Donations can be made here or I will be about with sponsor sheet in hand.

Evaluating the Leadership Role of Health and Wellbeing Boards as Drivers of Health Improvement and Integrated Care Across England

Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) are statutory partnerships. They bring together partners within the NHS, public health, adult social care and children’s services, as well as local authority elected members and representatives from Healthwatch in an effort to ensure strategic planning based on local health needs. HWBs became fully operational statutory bodies in April 2013 and have statutory duties to develop Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs) to be discharged through the board.

The research found that HWBs are the only place where the system can come together. Boards have the potential to act as ‘the beating heart’ of health in the local landscape. Unfortunately, HWBs in their current form are for the most part unable to function in this way. The report suggests that HWBs have little power to hold partners and organisations to account, as STPs/ACSs, have a larger geographical footprint and arguably more traction on the system because of the investment in them. The evidence suggests that, HWBs are currently at a crossroads with two possible future scenarios ahead of them. The first scenario involves HWBs being revisited and reconstituted to assume responsibility as ‘the accountable’ organisation for the delivery of place-based population health in an area, with STPs/ACSs and CCGs being held accountable to boards. The second scenario would see HWBs merely becoming, or continuing to be on the basis of the evidence from the study, talking shops which are effectively left to wither on the vine as STPs/ACSs effectively take over their role and function. The report suggests that the second scenario would be regrettable for a number of reasons outlined in the report.


The Living Standards Audit 2018

Declining incomes for the poorest families, government austerity and Brexit have led to the biggest rise in UK poverty. This report looks at the living standards of around 7.6 million low to middle income households, with a focus on 2006-07 data. It also examines at the latest household income figures for 2016-17, earlier years, and the ‘nowcast’ for 2017-18. As disposable household income is our key measure of living standards, the report brings together a number of economic factors including employment, earnings, benefit policy, tax policy and more. In addition, it also look at incomes after housing costs to reflect the crucial role of rental and mortgage payments.

The findings from the report suggest that after examination, the income data may be giving an imperfect picture of living standards. The adjusted statistics on poverty in Britain over time show the importance of benefits and tax credits for supporting living standards for families with lower incomes, and particularly those with children. Where governments have had a strong will to reduce poverty, backed by real cash among other policies, they did so – even more successfully than previously thought. In contrast, the ‘nowcast’ suggests 2017-18 was a strikingly bad year for lower income households as the 2015 package of benefit cuts began in earnest, in combination with high inflation. In part, politicians are of course either constrained or liberated by the health of the public finances. But – alongside the national Brexit debate – the country needs a new conversation about what level of relative poverty we want and what we intend to do about it.   Report

Severe Obesity in 10 To 11 Year Olds Reaches Record High

This slide pack presents trends in children’s body mass index from 2006/07 to 2016/17 using National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) data. The main findings from the data highlight: obesity, severe obesity, excess weight and overweight prevalence in Reception boys show significant downward trends in the 2006/07 to 2016/17 period. Analysis by Index of Multiple deprivation continues to show a widening inequality gap in the overweight, obese, severely obese and excess weight categories for all ethnic groups   Slideset

What is the Effect of Reduced Street Lighting on Crime and Road Traffic Accidents at Night? A Mixed Methods Study

An estimated £300m is spent every year on street lights in the UK. This research aimed to answer the question of whether reducing night-time streetlight for environmental and energy reasons, has any impact on road traffic crashes and crime. Researchers analysed 14 years of data from 62 local authorities across England and Wales who had implemented a range of reduced street light strategies, including switching lights off permanently, reducing the number of hours that lamps are switched on at night, dimming lights, and replacing traditional orange lamps with energy efficient white light LED lamps.

The report looked at all roads in participating authorities, examining what type of street lighting was used and the number of traffic collisions that happened at night relative to the day during 2000-13. There was no evidence of an association between reduced street lighting and night-time collisions across England and Wales. Regarding crime, the research looked at offences more likely to occur at night, including burglary, theft of or from a vehicle, robbery, violence and sexual assault. Overall, there was no evidence of an association between reduced street lighting and increased crime across England and Wales.

In summary the research suggests that local authorities can safely reduce street lighting at night, saving energy costs and reducing carbon emissions. However, the public were also concerned about other health outcomes.   Report

Stop ‘Super-Cool’ E-Cigarette from Taking off Among Kids

This article examines whether the ultra-discreet ‘Juul’ device accused by US campaigners of luring children into addiction. Anti-tobacco campaigners are calling for the UK government to act to prevent a new kind of e-cigarette with a super-cool image from taking off among children, as it may have done already in America. Juul looks like a USB stick, has just launched in the UK. It is, alleging that the device has been deceptively marketed as safe.   Article

The Contemporary Labour Market In Britain’s Older Industrial Towns

Britain’s older industrial towns are a substantial part of the country. This report suggests that in recent years that (northern industrial towns have been out-of-favour in terms of policy making and academic debate. Instead, the focus has been on cities and their potential to lead economic growth. The dominant assumption has been that cities benefit from agglomeration economies that make them better locations for economic activity.

This report tries to get to the bottom of what is really happening in the labour market in Britain’s older industrial towns. There is an abundance of data but analysts often fail to look beyond headline national data and rarely drill down further than ‘regions’, which lump together cities and towns, industrial and rural areas.

The conclusions include; that the economy relating to Britain’s older industrial towns is essentially stagnant and that there remains substantial labour market slack, pay and conditions are often poor, older industrial towns are increasingly becoming dormitories for men and women who work elsewhere and that international migration is a prominent feature of recent trends in these towns.  Report

A Picture of Health: The NHS at 70 and its Future

This report explores a comprehensive agenda for the future of the NHS looking at how it is funded, organised and reformed. It brings together analysis and policy recommendations from twelve leading experts on the NHS. The paper examines the important questions, but while we celebrate 70 years of the NHS this year, we must recognise the dangers ahead and decide whether a funded, public National Health Service is wanted and achievable.  Paper

The Lives We Want To Lead: The LGA Green Paper For Adult Social Care And Wellbeing

The Local Government Association (LGA) has launched its own green paper setting out how the adult social care system could be improved and the radical measures that it believes need to be considered given the scale of the funding crisis. The LGA is seeking the views of people and organisations from across society on how best to pay for care and support for adults of all ages and their unpaid carers and aims to make the public a central part of the debate.  Responses to this eight-week consultation are due by 26 September.   Green Paper

Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

The time has come to recognise the powerful contribution the arts can make to our health and wellbeing. This report sets out comprehensive evidence and numerous examples of practice which demonstrate the beneficial impact of the arts. The report makes ten specific recommendations as catalysts for the change of thinking and practice that can open the way for the potential of the arts in health to be realised.  Report

What is Social Prescribing?

Social prescribing is a means of enabling GPs, nurses and other primary care professionals to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical services. Recognising that people’s health is determined primarily by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, social prescribing seeks to address people’s needs in a holistic way. It also aims to support individuals to take greater control of their own health.

Please read this for a full description  Paper

Are we being too Smug about the NHS At 70? Why aren’t we Celebrating the Abolition of the Poor Law?

This blog explains that the NHS is undoubtedly a great thing, but the NHS fails to discuss the underlying causes of poor health. We know that individuals and communities have different life expectancy with the poorer we are the earlier we contract life limiting illness and our life expectancy is less. That’s not to say that the NHS is bad, but it is not the answer to the major influence that determines how you live and when you die! Blog

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Alliance: Inclusion Health Audit Tool

This online tool hopes to help organisations to audit engagement with groups identified as experiencing the worst health inequalities in the UK. It aims to provide a tailored guide to help embed action on tackling health inequalities into everyday activities.

The tool consists of five sections and takes around 15 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the audit tool, you will be provided with a unique and tailored guide which will help your organisation to embed action on tackling health inequalities into its everyday activities. Audit Tool

Don’t Eat the Chalk

Chris Gibbons is the Health Economics and Research Officer for Sheffield City Council. His blog re-examines and questions health investment, commissioning and decision making.

I know my recommendation to read will have no influence, but just take a look and make your own mind up!   Blog

Author Talks

Professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett are available to give talks about The Inner Level and inequality to interested audiences in the UK and across the world. They are particularly keen to spread the word to as many people as possible and so will prioritise larger audiences, ideally of 100 people or more.

They do not charge speaker fees but do ask that standard class travel costs (and accommodation costs if needed) are covered. They also invite donations to be made to The Equality Trust which we will be happy to discuss with you. Richard and Kate are based in York and the time and distance involved in travel to an event are factors to be considered when making the donation.

Ideally, they would prefer to do events during the working week but weekend bookings are possible and, again, are a factor to be considered when making the donation.

If you wish to book a talk, please email us and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible to make arrangements. Thank you for your support in the fight against inequality. It is not inevitable. We can build a better world where all can flourish.

The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Wellbeing   (Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett)

Why is the incidence of mental illness in the UK twice that in Germany? Why are Americans three times more likely than the Dutch to develop gambling problems? Why is child well-being so much worse in New Zealand than Japan? As this ground-breaking study demonstrates the answer to all these hinges on inequality.

In The Spirit Level Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett put inequality at the centre of public debate by showing conclusively that less-equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across everything from education to life expectancy. The Inner Level now explains how inequality affects us individually, how it alters how we think, feel and behave. It sets out the overwhelming evidence that material inequalities have powerful psychological effects: when the gap between rich and poor increases, so does the tendency to define and value ourselves and others in terms of superiority and inferiority. A deep well of data and analysis is drawn upon to empirically show, for example, that low social status is associated with elevated levels of stress, and how rates of anxiety and depression are intimately related to the inequality which makes that status paramount.

Wilkinson and Pickett describe how these responses to hierarchies evolved, and why the impacts of inequality on us are so severe. In doing so, they challenge the conception that humans are innately competitive and self-interested. They undermine, too, the idea that inequality is the product of ‘natural’ differences in individual ability. This book sheds new light on many of the most urgent problems facing societies today, but it is not just an index of our ills. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity generate much higher levels of well-being, and lays out the path towards them.   Read more here


‘The Micawber Principle’ – Debt, Poverty, Employment, Benefits and Health

Link to presentations and workshops can be found here (Kate Pickett’s presentation has now been added)  Evaluation Report


Yorkshire and the Humber Association of Directors of Public Health

Sector Led Improvement Annual Conference

 Venue:             Sheffield Hallam University, Charles Street, Sheffield

Date:                Friday, 29th March 2019

Time:               10.00am – 4.00pm

The 2019 sector led improvement conference will take place in Sheffield next March. We are currently putting together the programme, which will include a mix of plenary presentations and examples of innovative practice from across Yorkshire and Humber showcased in oral and poster presentations.

The call for abstracts will be issued shortly and booking will open in November 2018. In the meantime, please keep the date clear in your diary.

*Please note that booking for this conference will open in November and each local authority has a set number of places available. Booking will be coordinated by each local authority’s Director of Public Health.

“Preconception to Pension: Obesity through the Life Course”

 Venue:             Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne

Date:                6-7th of September 2018

Programme Features: obesity and age-related disease; bariatric surgery and life stages; food insecurity and obesity, molecular aspects of obesity and reproduction and intergeneration. For more information click here

Health Inequalities Conference

Venue:             Holiday Inn, Doncaster

Date:                17th September

Time:               10:00am – 3:00pm


Professor Chris Bentley, (TBC), Public Health England

Professor Kate Pickett,  University of York

Health inequalities are differences in health status in our communities. The more deprived the community/group the higher risk of ill health and premature death. Health inequalities are preventable. One way they can be reduced is by multi-team targeted action on the wider determinants of health, such as local environment or access to housing.

The aim of this workshop is to give an introduction to health inequality, and, using examples from practice, consider the impact of local action on the wider determinants of health. The training will aid to empower staff to understand how their own roles have wider impacts on the health agenda.

Who should attend the conference?

‘The conference has been designed to support the following audience: Elected Members, Chief Executives, DsPH, DsCS, DsASS, members of Health and Wellbeing Boards, Local Authority Managers and Officers (planners, environmental, education, transport, housing etc.) along with CCGs and other health professionals, colleagues from the voluntary and community sector and Local Enterprise Partnerships’

To book

Unsustainable Pressure? The Future of Health & Social Care

Venue:              Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire

Date:                11th & 12th October 2018

The conference includes Key Note Speakers:

Glen Garrod, ADASS President

Aileen Murphie, National Audit Office

Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults

Learn from practice. The Conference shares over 20 operational and strategic workshop sessions.

This not just another “conference”. It is the best training at the best price. Learn from colleagues who are doing the job and from cutting edge experts. Probably the best event of its kind and now in its 26th year, this is your conference and is organised and run by Commissioners for Commissioners and all those that have an interest in Health & Adult Social Care.

Price: only £175 plus VAT Early Bird (public sector)

According to the organisers the price includes, Fantastic presentations, overnight en-suite accommodation and all meals, a money back guarantee, the opportunity to network with commissioners and free taxi from Derby station (if travelling by train) and return after the event.  Bookings can be made Here

For a paper booking form contact or for further questions or queries call 07598450728 or 01926741811

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s