Sir Michael Marmot says Healthwatch can energise and give power to communities

Sir Michael Marmot author of the landmark report Marmot Review: Fair Society, Healthy Lives spoke to Healthwatch about how the Covid-19 pandemic has “amplified” health inequalities even further.

Sir Michael said he was very concerned about how local council spending had decreased since 2010 affecting the most deprived areas the most.

In his presentation today Sir Michael referred to his latest report  Health Equity in England: The Marmot Review 10 years on which said health inequalities have worsened meaning increasing life expectancy had started to stall and level off in some of the more deprived areas. He said Covid-19 had made the problem worse especially among diverse communities such as those in frontline employment and multi-generational overcrowded households.

During Monday’s talk Sir Michael said Healthwatch played a vital role in vitalising communities: “There was very much a local response during the pandemic of people doing shopping for the vulnerable and communities being empowered. Healthwatch can use its strong links with community decision-makers. The Marmot six are key areas where we need to focus our energies; that is ways of investing in our future so health inequalities caused by social inequalities can be reduced.”

Six Marmot policy goals

  • Give every child the best start in life
  • Enable all children, young people and adults to maximise their capabilities and have control over their lives
  • Create fair employment and good work for all
  • Ensure a healthy standard of living for all
  • Create and develop healthy and sustainable places and communities
  • Strengthen the role and impact of ill-health prevention

Sir Michael told Healthwatch education of children during the pandemic showed sharp differences between affluent and deprived areas as many private schools provided online learning while state schools did not. He said access to faster broadband and a standard computer should have been available to help all children. Sir Michael added that in 2010-2019 spending per pupil had gone down by 8 per cent which affected poorest families the most.


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