A paper submitted to the March 2017 NHS Board acknowledged there are areas of good practice to address inequalities going on across the NHS, however, knowledge, skills and confidence of staff could be developed further. The Health Improvement Self Assessment (HISA) based on the Marmot report “Working for Health Equity: the role of health professionals” (2013) focuses on addressing health inequalities through action in the following 5 areas:

  1. A skilled workforce – the workforce have the knowledge and skills to design and deliver inequalities sensitive practices, enabling them to respond to the social and economic circumstances affecting patients’ health and treatment
  2. The quality of services the NHS plans and provides – services should be planned and delivered in proportion to need, and inequalities in access, outcomes and the experience of care are accounted for and addressed
  3. What the NHS does in partnership with local government and others – Strategic plans and partnership plans include action to address the fundamental and environmental causes of health inequalities as well as reacting to the effect; working in partnership with the third sector, and strengthening community engagement and empowerment
  4. The NHS as an employer and procurer – mitigating and preventing the impact of inequality is integrated within procurement policy and practice, and ensuring the principles of “good work” are incorporated into the monitoring of the Staff Governance Standard
  5. The advocacy role of the NHS Board – leaders, board members and other senior managers actively advocate for action on inequalities in partnership with local authorities, the third sector and others in their community.

Another two papers were also submitted at that NHS Board meeting, one focused on prevention and the other on the Health Promoting Health Service suggesting that a “Better Health Strategic Group is established and a Better Health Network targeting practitioners is proposed to complement the work of the strategic group. The focus on reducing inequalities continues as;

Chief Executive John Burns blog of the 29th of June 2017 focused on revised corporate objectives:

“protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the population and reduce inequalities, including through advocacy, prevention and anticipatory care”

Addressing Inequalities : NHS Ayrshire & Arran Approach

You can access the Health Inequalities Self Assessment (HISA) by clicking on this link