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Tackling the gap

Harnessing community assets to improve equity in public health outcomes

Explore the series

Visit the homepage for further information about the Future of Public Health series.

Read the previous report

The role of employers in reducing the UK’s public health gap: Improving the health and productivity of employees

Communities come in all shapes and sizes, but all have an important role to play in the health of their local population. They do this directly through the provision of health, education and housing services, green spaces, sports facilities, and active travel initiatives. Communities also do this indirectly, by supporting the development of social capital and through social cohesion and feelings of safety. To improve the economic, social, and public health of communities, the focus needs to be on utilising their strengths.

This report, part of the future of public health series, seeks to demonstrate the importance of asset-based, place-based solutions for improving public health and reducing health inequalities.

While the broad objective is health protection and the prevention of ill health, the provision of services also needs to be equitable, creating opportunities for everyone to achieve their full potential. This requires positive actions to create sustainable and systemic change at a place level. A crucial requirement is to find effective ways to involve all stakeholders in public health, including the voluntary and community sectors and businesses, to work with individuals across each community to harness and optimise the use of community assets.

Changing the narrative to focus on valuing and deploying community assets can help reduce the health gap and improve outcomes for all.

Karen Taylor                                                                                                                   

Head of the Deloitte UK Centre for Health Solutions

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