Pandemic highlights health inequalities

Black people are nearly twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Its data shows a similar risk for people living in the poorest areas of England, compared with those living in the richest areas.

Public Health England (PHE) has launched a review to establish more robust data on the factors impacting the number of cases and health outcomes for different groups within the population.

It will analyse how different factors – including ethnicity, gender, obesity and homelessness – can impact on people’s health outcomes from COVID-19. The LGA is taking part in the review and PHE is expected to publish its findings shortly.

Meanwhile, Birmingham City Council and Lewisham Council have announced a joint review to gather insights into health inequalities within Black African and Caribbean communities – building on previous joint working on childhood obesity.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “Learning lessons needs to start now. This is not just about the impact coronavirus is having on BAME communities, but prompted by this current pandemic, we must seize the opportunity to drive an evidence-led approach on addressing health inequalities.

“News of the coronavirus-related deaths of frontline workers from these communities is heartbreaking and a stark reminder that we need to urgently address these health inequalities.”


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