Professor Sir Michael Marmot to chair new Commission to cut Lancashire's health inequalities

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A new health commission has been set up to improve the health and wellbeing of those who live in Lancashire and South Cumbria and cut health inequalities.

It will be chaired by internationally renowned expert Professor Sir Michael Marmot who is Professor of Epidemiology at University College London and a Past President of the World Medical Association.

Sir Michael was previously asked by central Government to chair an independent review to propose evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities in England. The resulting influential Marmot Review was published in 2010.

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More than 500 delegates attended a launch webinar for the new Health Equity Commission (HEC) last month and now the Commission is asking health and community leaders to conduct reviews in their areas.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot will chair the new Health Equity CommissionProfessor Sir Michael Marmot will chair the new Health Equity Commission
Professor Sir Michael Marmot will chair the new Health Equity Commission

The Commission will also include business leaders, public sector leaders and “influencers”, as well as independent experts. Its work will form part of a drive by the Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership and community leaders to both reduce health inequalities in this part of the north west and to help transform the overall wellbeing and health of its residents.

Sir Michael, who is also Director of the University College London Institute of Health Equity, said: “To reduce health inequalities, it is necessary to improve the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. The enthusiasm and commitment of local leaders to achieving health equity inspires the belief that this HEC will make a real difference to the lives of people in Lancashire and South Cumbria. It is a privilege to be associated with this endeavour.”

The Commission has said it: "will aim to provide local leaders, organisations and partnerships with the support they need to make health inequalities and the ‘prevention agenda’ a joint priority and provide a loud and clear voice in the region."

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It explained: "Health equity means striving for the highest possible standard of health for all people and giving special attention to the needs of those at greatest risk of poor health, based on their social and economic circumstances."

Lancashire and South Cumbria has a growing population of some 1.8 million people but the Commission says it is aware more of that population is getting older and experiencing long-term health problems, wome of which could be avoided or the ill effects slowed down given positive preventative action.It continued: "There remain persistent and widening gaps between those with the best and worst health and wellbeing. This difference is unfair, unjust, and avoidable."

David Flory, Independent Chair for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria integrated care partnership said he was delighted so many delegates had attended the Commission's launch from: "a range of sectors including health, local authorities, universities, the voluntary sector, businesses, and other sectors such as transport, housing, and economic development. "

He continued: “The reduction of health inequalities is everyone’s business. If there is one thing we can do to improve the health and wellbeing of residents in Lancashire and South Cumbria it would be to level up the health and related social and economic conditions for residents. We are grateful and honoured that Professor Sir Michael Marmot has agreed to chair our Health Equity Commission, he brings a wealth of international experience to our work as a partnership to make a difference and improve the lives of Lancashire and South Cumbria residents.”

For more information see here

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