UK Health Inequality Explored

30th June 2014

Renowned journalist and Guardian columnist, Polly Toynbee will lead a debate on the power of research on public health outcomes at Sheffield Hallam University on Friday.

Discussing the future of public health and how the differences between life expectancy and health can be improved across the UK, Polly's visit to the University will mark the launch of a new book, co-authored by a team of experts from Sheffield Hallam on health inequality. Looking at the impact of health inequality on vulnerable infants and parents, breast-feeding and teenage mothers and mothers and babies in prison the book also discusses issues around sexual health, welfare rights and health benefits, Hepatitis C testing, mental health and staying warm in later life. Health And Inequality: Applying public health research to policy and practice highlights a range of research projects that explore the social, political and economic influences on health inequality and how, in order to improve the situation, research findings must be considered by healthcare professionals when in practice. The book draws on the work of the Marmot Review in 2010 that emphasised the importance of addressing issues of social justice and health inequality across the life span as well as looking at different studies that have focused on those suffering health inequalities at certain points in their lives. It also reflects on the messages highlighted by the research for staff working in health and social care, local government and voluntary sector organisations. Dr Julia Hirst, a Reader in sociology in Sheffield Hallam's Faculty for Development and Society co-edited the book alongside Professor Angela Tod of the University's Centre for Health and Social Care Research. "Our aim is to review the influence of the social impacts of health on public health policy, research and practice," said Dr Hirst. "We reflect on ways forward for public health in the future and have considered activities and interventions that have sought to minimise the health divide in the UK over recent years. "We are aware of numerous research studies that have relevance for public health but have never reached the eyes and ears of those that have the power to make positive change. This is our attempt to reduce the research to practice gap in public health." Penny Toynbee will join the book's authors, members of the public, researchers, health care professionals, students and politicians to mark the launch of the book on Friday 27 June from 12-2.30pm in the EricMensforthBuilding (Room 3121) at SheffieldHallamUniversity's City Campus. Contact Anna Ryan via a.f.ryan@shu.ac.uk to book your place at the launch.

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