Man of South Asian descent talking with a doctor

Government commission on race rejects health disparities common view

The newly-released UK Government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has “rejected the common view that ethnic minorities have universally worse health outcomes” when compared with the UK white population.

In many health outcome metrics, including life expectancy, overall mortality and many of the leading causes of mortality in the UK, ethnic minority groups recorded better outcomes than the White majority population.

Instead, they argue that evidence shows deprivation, geography and differential exposure to key risk factors as being defining factors for worsened health outcomes.

However, the Commission also evidenced that, given many ethnic minorities had higher levels of deprivation compared with the White majority population, deprivation didn’t represent destiny for worse health outcomes.

Instead, there were clear opportunities to learn from why some ethnic minority groups were doing better than others, with further investigations needed to understand whether it was due to differences in important risk factors, family structures, better social networks or health behaviours such as drinking alcohol and smoking.

The report also looked at some health conditions where there was a variation within the broader ethnic group, such as some cancers which had significant differences between Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic groups.

As part of the Commission’s research, it heard evidence which, in contrast to the narrative of other reports, suggested there was no overwhelming evidence of racism in the treatment and diagnosis of mental health conditions.

It called for significant additional research in this area to further understand the interplay between different causes and understand the impact of other challenges, such as the mistrust of health services, among some ethnic minority groups.

The Commission’s conclusions on race and health factor into a wider, extensive report into race and ethnic disparities across the UK.

NHE May/June 22

NHE May/June 22

Developing a high-quality NHS estate

The new edition of NHE’s e-magazine highlights the latest in cyber security, pharmaceuticals, NHS workforce, NHS Estates, driving innovation in procurement and more with articles from the likes of Brendan Griffin-Ryan, Senior Category Manager, Estates & Facilities, NHS SBS (pg79), West London NHS Trust and Health Education England.

Videos...

View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all