The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted the prevalence and impact of health inequalities, with higher coronavirus risk evident among particular communities. However, the appetite to better understand the challenges and opportunities to do things differently also increased. Through our work , we explored the links between coronavirus, inequalities and diversity, and the need to think differently as we ‘reset’ and build a more inclusive society.
The AHSN Network has a significant potential role in influencing local and national leaders to effect meaningful change on policy and better understand the drivers behind inequalities as we sit at the cornerstone between health innovation and economic growth.
All 15 AHSNs have already committed to diversity pledges to ensure our work embeds equality, diversity and inclusion. We will build upon this to help create a health and care system that is accessible and fairly supports all parts of society. Local leaders should be empowered with the tools to improve health outcomes and deliver inclusive growth and wider prosperity, while health should be considered a priority across all Government departments and as an outcome in all economic development policies.