Department of Health
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New study to drive further improvements in health care for the most vulnerable

New study to drive further improvements in health care for the most vulnerable

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 11 March 2010

A new short study, Inclusion Health, outlines how improvements in health care for the most excluded groups in society can be accelerated to ensure high quality services are available to all.

The joint study by the Department for Health and the Social Exclusion Task Force in the Cabinet Office, published today, examined how well the primary health care needs of vulnerable groups are being met. It concluded that considerable progress has been made, but also highlighted that socially excluded groups often have complex needs and require a sophisticated and flexible response from service providers. Inclusion Health sets out to address this.

In order to bring about further improvements, the Government will support the delivery of the Inclusion Health agenda by establishing a National Inclusion Health Board. This will be chaired by a Professor Steve Field, Chairman of the Royal College of GPs, senior health professional and will be responsible for driving the action plan forward. Some of the key actions include:

Establishing a Chair in Inclusion Health providing professional and academic leadership within the sector.Embedding inclusion health in undergraduate training for all nurses, doctors and dentists.Publishing new Inclusion Health commissioning guidance, which will set out how the needs of socially excluded groups can be better assessed and met;Describing and promoting effective models of prevention and promotion for socially excluded groups.Enhance existing processes and incentives to encourage service innovations and improvements for socially excluded groups.

Third Sector Minister, Angela Smith said:

“Health and Care Services in Britain continue to improve year-on-year but analysis from this study shows that we can still do more to help those most in need.

“Everyone should have access to the highest standard of care, no matter what their circumstances or background. Inclusion Health will lead the way in improving health services to help those most vulnerable and will build on the great work that is already happening up and down the country”.

Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

“The past ten years have seen some of our most ambitious and successful reforms in healthcare and lead to many notable achievements including life expectancy at an unprecedented high, infant mortality at a historic low and waiting times that are the shortest they have been since NHS records began.

“The challenge now is to build upon this improvement in quality, creating more personal, responsive and accessible services that are not just good, but universally great. That includes delivery of high quality and affordable health care for everybody. The creation of the National Inclusion Health Board will act as an advocate for change, providing expertise and leadership as we strive to meet the needs of every citizen.”

Inclusion Health is based on evidence from the research carried out by the DH and SETF and work to understand the experiences, skills, views and opinions of frontline service providers, commissions, practitioners, service leaders, local managers and users themselves.

This study complements the work of the broader programme of work on Health Inequalities and the Marmot Review and work to address equalities issues in health care

Notes to Editors

A copy of the report can be found at:

The evidence pack that underpins Inclusion Health and further Department of Health work on the health needs of the homeless will be published on the Department of Health and Cabinet Office websites at:

Inclusion Health Commissioning Guidance and analysis on the health needs of single homeless people, produced by the Department of Health and the NHS in conjunction with the Social Exclusion Task Forcewill be published on the Department of Health website on 21 March.

Cabinet Office Press Office 22 Whitehall LONDON SW1A 2WH

Tel: 020 7276 0400 – Fax: 020 7276 1146 of hours telephone 07699 113300 and ask for pager number 721338


Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221

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