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Government unveils health inequality strategy

11th February 2010

The government has laid out its strategy for addressing the health inequalities which exist in the UK.

A major report by Sir Michael Marmot, a public health professor with University College London, identified the key areas for improving healthcare provision in the coming ten years, with a specific focus on improving infant mortality rates and extending life expectancy.

The research acknowledged that the lower the person's social position, the greater the chance they will suffer from health problems and said that a range of measures must be used to end the inequality.

Among the suggestions made in the report is continued use of children's centres to improve health from the start of life, increased investment in healthcare for disadvantaged areas and resources for family nurse partnerships

Health secretary Andy Burnham said: 'It is not right that where we live can dictate the state of our health. Everyone should have an equal chance at good health. I am passionate about getting to the heart of this issue.'

Last week, health minister Mike O'Brien and care services minister Phil Hope unveiled a new network to encourage local NHS and social care services to work together more closely in a bid to provide joined-up services to patients.

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