Inequalities in health outcomes and how they might be addressed

Document type
Atkinson, Maggie
Office of the Children's Commissioner
Date of publication
26 June 2012
Children and Young People, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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Considerable variations exist in both health service outcomes for children, and it follows, their whole-of-life-course outcomes. Variations become inequitable if individuals or groups in a population of community are denied fair access to either determinants of health or lifestyles or services which could improve their life chances and outcomes. Children in families experiencing mental health problems, substance misuse, learning difficulties and domestic violence are particularly at risk, and specific evidence-based preventive programmes should be implemented to address these issues and enable children and young people to have a secure and nurturing home. Health services should be aware of these adverse determinants of lifestyles, and tailor the delivery of services to both mitigate against their adverse effects, for example the proven financial impact of a long-term condition or a disability, as well as building on positive aspects to improve outcomes.

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