Health and Wellbeing

It has long been established that the North East faces health inequalities to a higher degree than the rest of the country. Although overall health is improving, and the health services in the region are highly rated by the Care Quality Commission, the North East struggles with numerous health issues, including lower life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, preventable premature deaths, alcohol and substance abuse, and increased rates of morbidity and comorbidity.

Data suggest that there is a wide inequality in health outcomes between the North East and the rest of England, but also, that this gap is widening. For this reason, tackling health and wellbeing issues in the region should be of primary importance.

At Insights North East, we focus on the social and wider determinants of health, their impacts and the policies and practices which might help to mitigate them. In fact, socioeconomic factors such as poverty, unemployment and limited access to healthcare services play a significant role in understanding the current health map of the region. This means that in order to address health and wellbeing concerns, we need to prioritise the social and economic causes underlying the region’s health inequalities. Using the research excellence and expertise generated in the area, we work in collaboration with local government, the NHS and other local partners to identify policy priorities, develop research activities and produce outputs of various kinds in order to inform local policy and in doing so, tackle some of the region’s most pressing health inequality issues.

The North East devolution deal is a huge opportunity to think differently about local health policies and services. This exploration aims to unravel the intricate web of implications that such restructuring could have on the broader health landscape of the region. We seek to gain insights into how the devolution deal may not only shape immediate changes but also contribute to the establishment of a transformed and sustainable health framework for the long-term wellbeing of the North East.

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