Poverty and public health: CPP joins forces with The King's Fund

We'll explore how the inclusive growth community can work with health and care systems to tackle poverty.

6 July 2022

By Rosie Fogden

3 minute read

Why public health and poverty are important to inclusive growth

As prices rise, poverty is increasing in communities still trying to recover from the pandemic and in some cases, from the financial crisis over a decade ago. Unemployment appears to be low, but headline figures mask a two-tier system where wage increases, flexibility and work itself is less accessible to people with low incomes.

Ill health is one of the major factors that holds people back from participating in the economy and is closely linked to deprivation, with hidden unemployment due to health problems or disabilities concentrated in the weakest local economies. Both poverty and ill health are associated with poor housing, high stress and social exclusion and poverty is understood to worsen both physical and mental health, holding people back from accessing high quality jobs and putting additional pressure on the health and care system.

Why we are doing this project

At CPP we believe everyone in a community should benefit from and be able to contribute to economic growth and tackling poverty and poor health is a crucial part of this. There is lots of evidence to demonstrate the two-way relationship between poverty and ill health. Tackling poverty today will help to improve population health in the years to come, reducing demand on healthcare services and promoting economic and social inclusion. So this summer we are working with The King’s Fund to develop practical insight on how local systems can more effectively mitigate, reduce and prevent poverty. By bringing together our Inclusive Growth Network of local areas with their NHS networks, we hope to explore how collaboration and data can drive success.

What we are doing

Strategic and operational data have been identified as key enablers of change in local health and care systems. As a major reorganisation of the NHS in England begins, in which Integrated Care Systems -  partnerships of GP teams, hospitals, local authorities, and others are given formal statutory powers, metrics and data will be central to ensuring poverty is a focus for these local systems. Over the next few months we will be working with Toby Lewis and David Buck from The King’s Fund to produce recommendations on which data, metrics and analytical tools would be useful to inform planning and help places and systems double down on poverty prevention. As part of this process, we will be speaking to health and economic development leaders from across the country. Our first roundtable in May demonstrated strong aspirations from local and regional leaders, including a desire to build a shared narrative and to scale-up the contribution of anchor institutions. The key learnings from this discussion can be found here on our IGN site.