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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Seven Key Investments for Health Equity across the Lifecourse: Scotland versus the rest of the UK
Authors: Frank, John W
Bromley, Catherine
Doi, Lawrence
Estrade, Michelle
Jepson, Ruth
McAteer, John
Robertson, Tony
Treanor, Morag
Williams, Andrew
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Keywords: England and Wales
Lifecourse Epidemiology
Policies to Reduce Health Inequalities
Public Health
United Kingdom
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Frank JW, Bromley C, Doi L, Estrade M, Jepson R, McAteer J, Robertson T, Treanor M & Williams A (2015) Seven Key Investments for Health Equity across the Lifecourse: Scotland versus the rest of the UK, Social Science and Medicine, 140, pp. 136-146.
Abstract: While widespread lip service is given in the UK to the social determinants of health (SDoH), there are few published comparisons of how the UK's devolved jurisdictions ‘stack up’, in terms of implementing SDoH-based policies and programmes, to improve health equity over the life-course. Based on recent SDoH publications, seven key societal-level investments are suggested, across the life-course, for increasing health equity by socioeconomic position (SEP). We present hard-to-find comparable analyses of routinely collected data to gauge the relative extent to which these investments have been pursued and achieved expected goals in Scotland, as compared with England and Wales, in recent decades. Despite Scotland’s longstanding explicit goal of reducing health inequalities, it has recently been doing slightly better than England and Wales on only one broad indicator of health-equity-related investments: childhood poverty. However, on the following indicators of other ‘best investments for health equity’, Scotland has not achieved demonstrably more equitable outcomes by SEP than the rest of the UK: infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rates; early childhood education implementation; standardised educational attainment after primary/secondary school; healthcare system access and performance; protection of the population from potentially hazardous patterns of food, drink and gambling use; unemployment. Although Scotland did not choose independence on September 18th, 2014, it could still (under the planned increased devolution of powers from Westminster) choose to increase investments in the underperforming categories of interventions for health equity listed above. However, such discussion is largely absent from the current post-referendum debate. Without further significant investments in such policies and programmes, Scotland is unlikely to achieve the ‘healthier, fairer society’ referred to in the current Scottish Government's official aspirations for the nation.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: This article is open-access under a Creative Commons license. Proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details should be given.
Affiliation: University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy
University of Edinburgh
HS - Management and Support
University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh

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