Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Cymru Wales has written on behalf of the Welsh NHS Confederation health and social care policy forum to the first minister to call for a cross-government strategy for tackling wider health inequalities in Wales.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the widening gap in health inequalities and the growing link between poverty and poor health outcomes.
34 organisations in Wales including royal colleges, the British Medical Association, Cancer Research Wales, Samaritans Cymru, Community Housing Cymru, and the Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru have now come together to highlight the growing impact of long-term chronic illness on our society.
The next Senedd election will take place in May 2021. We are now urging all political parties to commit to developing a cross-government health inequalities strategy with a clear action plan and milestones, working in collaboration with partners across every sector.
A wider strategy is required because health inequality is the result of many and varied factors. It should not sit solely within one minister’s portfolio; tackling it should be a priority running through all government activity and be a priority for all organisations.
We believe that social care and the NHS alone simply don’t have the levers to make some of the other radical changes we know are vital, including action to tackle poor housing, access to education, and poverty reduction, which sit across a variety of government portfolios.