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The social determinants of health and the role of local government

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Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IDeA) UK February 2010


This collection of articles assesses what local government can do to tackle the social conditions that lead to health inequalities. Written by distinguished practitioners and academics, the publication builds on the recent Marmot Review report, 'Fair Society, Healthy Lives'.

Some of the articles are deliberately challenging and provocative. Some of them present a picture of what is already happening in local government. Some look to what more local authorities could do, either with additional powers or by using their existing powers and remit. All will challenge and extend your current thinking.

‘……In undertaking this review, we identified evidence and made recommendations in the key policy areas – the social determinants of health – where action is likely to be most effective in reducing health inequalities. These are:

  • early child development and education
  • employment arrangements and working conditions
  • social protection
  • the built environment
  • sustainable development
  • economic analysis
  • delivery systems and mechanisms
  • priority public health conditions
  • social inclusion and social mobility.

In every single one of these areas, local government has a significant role to play. Local authorities make a very important contribution to weaving the social fabric of their areas and seeking to create and sustain healthy places for people to be born, grow, live, work and age. No review of health inequalities and measures to reduce them in this country can afford to ignore the role of local government…..”

Download summary and full versions of the publication

The Social Determinants of Health and the Role of Local Government – summary version (PDF, 4 pages, 480KB)

The Social Determinants of Health and the Role of Local Government – full version (PDF, 76 pages, 1.3MB large file)

Download individual chapters

Foreward and introduction (PDF, 7 pages, 315KB)

Chapter 1: What makes people healthy and what makes them ill? (PDF, 5 pages, 115KB)

Chapter 2: Using the concept of 'place' to understand and reduce health inequalities (PDF, 10 pages, 287KB)

Chapter 3: Making a difference: using NICE guidance and embedding evaluation (PDF, 5 pages, 154KB)

Chapter 4: The changing public health workforce (PDF, 3 pages, 106KB)

Chapter 5: Greenwich – health is everybody's business (PDF, 2 pages, 124KB)

Chapter 6: North East Lincolnshire – integrating public health with local government (PDF, 2 pages, 99KB)

Chapter 7: Embedding health in a vision of 'Total Place' (PDF, 2 pages, 132KB)

Chapter 8: Local Government – what does it mean for the frontline? (PDF, 14 pages, 200KB)

Chapter 9: Local public health intelligence (PDF, 3 pages, 106KB)

Chapter 10: Inequalities, assets and local government (PDF, 3 pages, 141KB)

Chapter 11: Integrating social marketing into what we do (PDF, 3 pages, 134KB)

Chapter 12: The enforcement role of local government as a tool for health (PDF, 2 pages, 105KB)

Chapter 13: Health impact assessment (PDF, 2 pages, 107KB)

Chapter 14: Using scrutiny to improve health and reduce health inequalities (PDF, 2 pages, 98KB)

Chapter 15: The local authority as employer (PDF, 2 pages, 108KB)

* * *

This message from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO/WHO, is part of an effort to disseminate

information Related to: Equity; Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality in health; Socioeconomic

health differentials; Gender; Violence; Poverty; Health Economics; Health Legislation; Ethnicity; Ethics;

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“Materials provided in this electronic list are provided "as is". Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings

and interpretations included in the Materials are those of the authors and not necessarily of The Pan American

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Last Updated ( Friday, 03 September 2010 10:51 )  

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