Public Health England is launching a national conversation about health inequalities to better understand the English public’s perception and experience.

Where you live, what you earn and how long you stay in education may all affect your health.

For example, people living in the poorest neighbourhoods will on average die 7 years earlier than people living in the richest neighbourhoods.

The idea of the national conversation is that through listening to communities across the country, we will be able to better understand the public’s view of these health inequalities, how they are affected by them and hear their suggestions for what might help narrow the gap.

The project will involve speaking with public health professionals and community leaders and holding a series of workshops with members of the public to gain valuable insight into how people are living now. The workshops will explore local solutions that may help to mitigate inequalities and this knowledge will be collated for dissemination via a number of means both locally and nationally.

Ann Marie Connolly, director of Health Equity and Impact at PHE, said:

“The concept of inequalities and their causes are complex and can be difficult to convey in a simple message, so we are interested in better understanding how the public identify and describe health inequalities and want to hear about solutions that may work locally. This will help us improve the way we describe inequalities and how we reduce them.”

Knowledge gained from running the workshops and listening to the views of the public will be brought together in a toolkit that will be available for local authorities and others wishing to run similar projects. At the same time, a national event will bring together this learning to inform national bodies and leaders of the public’s views and our ongoing work.

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