The Department of Health and Social Care has announced the launch of a new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) on 1st October 2021, to be co-led by Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy and Jonathan Marron. The Office will bring together expert advice, data and evidence to tackle health disparities across the UK and work with other government departments on the wider social determinants of health from employment to housing.
Earlier this year, caring was identified as a social determinant of health by Public Health England and evidence from the 2021 GP Patient Survey shows that health inequalities for carers are exacerbated if they are also part of a marginalised group.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“There has never been a more important time to tackle carers’ health inequalities – many have seen their health deteriorate significantly as a result of caring round the clock during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Carers provide critical support to those they care for and reduce pressures on the health and social care system – they too need support to maintain their own health. The detrimental effect that caring has on their health is avoidable and we hope the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will look closely at the social determinants affecting carers and work to tackle them head on.”