To answer any written questions about matters which are within the powers and duties of the Board.
The closing date/time for receipt of written questions is 10.00am on 26 October 2021. Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Andrea Clarke (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Members of the public were invited to submit written questions about matters within the powers and duties of the Board. The closing date for receipt of written questions was 10.00am on 26 October 2021.
The following question was submitted by Mr Bren McInerney: -
Does the Gloucestershire Health and Well Being Board know what is driving inequalities in the county; what measures do we have to be assured of this, and, what evidence is there that all our programmes of work are designed, delivered, assessed, and reflected on to positively address our stark inequalities in the county?
Response by Cllr Carole Allaway Martin (Cabinet Member: Adult Social Care Commissioning/Professor Sarah Scott: Executive Director of Adult Social Care and Public Health at Gloucestershire County Council): -
Health inequalities are driven by a complex range of social, environmental and economic factors, which interact to produce unfair differences in health outcomes. Drivers vary between communities and individuals, which means that it’s difficult to pinpoint specific drivers at county level. It also means that there is no single or simple solution to address the issue. There is also evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing health inequalities and must now be considered among the list of potential drivers.
Acknowledging that there is already much activity aiming to reduce health inequalities underway, the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board (GHWB) recognises the need to refocus and step-up our collective efforts as we move into recovery.
With this in mind, GHWB and the Integrated Care System (ICS) Board have convened a new Health Inequalities Panel comprising senior system leaders, which will take steps to:
1. Identify, coordinate and align current action on health inequalities; ensuring priorities for strengthening this work are agreed, impact is monitored and learning is shared
2. Develop a sustainable, community-centred, whole systems approach to reducing health inequalities, which involves bringing multiple stakeholders together to better understand the drivers and work collaboratively to agree what action should be taken.
The Panel is undertaking a system-wide mapping and networking exercise to gain a better collective understanding of key assets and areas of activity. This will help us to identify what is working well, and to identify key gaps and opportunities for development. A shared Health Inequalities dashboard is also in development to help provide assurance that collective actions are effective. We envisage this will evolve as we learn and engage more widely.
Meanwhile, we are continuing to take forward a number of initiatives which aim to encourage and enable system partners to better understand the disparities within their programmes of work and embed effective action to mitigate these differences. This work includes progressing our local ‘anchor institutions’* approach and the further development and testing of the local Health Inequalities Toolkit, designed to support partners to take effective action.
* This approach aims to maximise the leverage GHWB member organisations have, as employers, purchasers of good and services, owners of land and assets and leaders of place, to support inclusive economic growth.
At the meeting, it was suggested Cllr Allaway Martin arrange to meet with Mr McInerney to discuss his questions in more depth. Mr McInerney agreed to this suggestion and hoped the discussion would provide more detail on measures not included in the initial response to his question.
Action: Cllr Carole Allaway Martin to meet with Mr McInerney after the meeting.