A New Politics for Health


“Women who live in the least deprived parts of Kensington & Chelsea can expect almost a quarter of a century more of good health than their female counterparts in the most deprived part of the borough.

For females at birth, the number of years an individual could expect to live in good health based on current rates – known as healthy life expectancy – differed by an average of 24.6 years between the most and least deprived parts of the borough” (ONS, 2015)

These geographical patterns of health inequity are repeated across the country so that thenumber of years an individual can expect to live in good health can be predicted by the level of economic and social deprivation in their area.

We are working to build a mass movement to challenge and overturn this national disgrace. A vital part of this work is our endeavour to establish a new charter for health in England that demands action on the political decisions that affect health.  In partnership with Birmingham City University and The Equality Trust, the Politics of Health Group is asking for your help in developing and implementing this charter. We invite you to join us at a national event and in the work that will lead up to it:

(Click on this link to book your place):

A New Politics for Health – Moving Forward from the Ottawa Charter, November 23, 2016, Birmingham City University

Thirty years ago, the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion (endorsed by 40 nations, including the UK) set out high aspirations for health equity:

● Build healthy public policy that provides people with the prerequisites for health
● Create supportive environments, both physical and social, in which people’s health can flourish
● Strengthen community action on health influences
● Develop personal skills enabling people to take more control of their own health
● Re-orientate health services towards the prevention of illness and promotion of health

While some exciting initiatives followed (such as the global Health Cities programme) the Charter failed to bring about a real move towards health equity.  Over the next few months we would like you to participate in a creative process that will build on and strengthen the provisions of Ottawa Charter and commit its signatories – those who have the power at national and local level – to bring about the change we seek.  We want to generate discussion about how best to mobilise a social movement for health justice. Could any of your current work support this movement?

Other ways to participate:

● Attend one of our regional discussion days, planned for September, to consider the influence of the Ottawa Charter and its relevance for promoting health equity
● Suggest a case study of health promotion work for our discussion days
● Co-ordinate your own local workshop
● Identify other people and organisations who might support this movement
● Write a blog for our websites
● Get it touch to tell us about your own innovative ideas to campaign for health equity

For an information pack or keep a track of planned events at http://blogs.bcu.ac.uk/publichealth/birmingham-health-charter/.

For more information about the Politics of Health Group: http://www.pohg.org.uk/

Please join us in strengthening the movement for health equity.

Yours sincerely

  • Professor Richard Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, Honorary Professor at UCL and a Visiting Professor at the University of York and The Equality Trust
  • Professor Kate Pickett, Health Sciences, University of York and The Equality Trust
  • Dr Jenny Douglas, Faculty of Health & Social Care, The Open University
  • Sue Laughlin, Founding Member Politics of Health Group
  • Maggie WintersSecretary, PoHG and Retired Project Manager for the Public Health Alliance
  • Dr Katie Powell, Health Equity and Inclusion Research Group, University of Sheffield
  • Alan Taman, Health public relations specialist
  • Dr Anne Robbins, Health, Education and Life Sciences, Birmingham City University
  • Dr Kate Thomson, Health, Education & Life Sciences, Birmingham City University
  • Dr Rebecca Mead, University of Chester
  • Jake Sallaway-Costello, Health, Education and Life Sciences, Birmingham City University

On behalf of the Politics of Health Group, Birmingham City University and The Equality Trust