This report, ‘Working for Health Equity: The Role of Healthcare Professionals’, published March 2013, attempts to demonstrate that the healthcare system and those working within it have an important and often under-utilised role in reducing health inequalities through action on the social determinants of health. The health workforce are, after all, well placed to initiate and develop services that take into account and attempt to improve the wider social context for patients and staff.
The report discusses the best ways to reduce inequities through workforce education and training, practical actions to be taken during interactions with patients, ways of working in partnership, and the role of advocacy. It also includes a section on the health system, which analyses which mechanisms and structures are supportive of actions to reduce health inequality, and where further development might be needed.
Throughout the report, the UCL’s Institute of Health Equity have gathered a series of commitments by health workforce and other organisations to embed and develop action on the social determinants and these form the basis for an on-going programme of work led by IHE in partnership with royal colleges, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the BMA, and other organisations and institutions. The report also provides statements for action developed by health professional organisations which seek to give practical accessible tools for particular professionals to develop and use in their roles.
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