Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The social determinants of health

"This study of inequities in health between and within countries across the 53 Member States of the WHO European Region was commissioned to support the development of the new European policy framework for health and well-being, Health 2020..."

Behind the study, there were a number of task groups which provided evidence on tackling the major social determinants of health and related areas.

Naomi Eisenstadt, who is Nicola Sturgeon`s independent adviser on poverty and inequality, co-chaired the `Early years, education and family` group. Sir Harry Burns, who was Chief Medical Officer for Scotland at the time, chaired the task group for `Governance and delivery mechanisms`.

Quoting from the report:
"Children’s early development, life chances and, ultimately, health inequities are strongly influenced by: the social and economic background of their parents and grandparents; location, culture and tradition; education and employment; income and wealth; lifestyle and behaviour; and genetic disposition." 
"Further, conditions such as obesity and hypertension, and behaviour that puts health at risk, such as smoking, recur in successive generations. Achieving a sustainable reduction in health inequities requires action to prevent the relative and absolute disadvantage of parents from blighting the lives of their children, their grandchildren and subsequent generations. The strongest instruments to break such vicious circles of disadvantage lie at the start of life."
So it is now the business of governments to prevent families from blighting the lives of their children by getting heavily involved in the early years. It could not be any more insulting or small minded.

Scotland is obviously the pilot for this scheme which is going to be pushed across Europe and, indeed, the rest of the world.

Stuart Waiton, senior lecturer in sociology and criminology at Abertay University, has written and spoken about the lack of `big ideas` in government.

Here he is criticising the Named Person scheme.

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