Inequality and A&E departments - more equality, fewer hospital admissions
An important, but depressing, new report has been published by the Centre for Health Economics at the University of York. The researchers have modelled the impact of our unfair society on the use of A&E departments and emergency attendances at hospital. They find that nearly half of all emergency hospital admissions are related to our unfair society. If we could move all households up to the income of the top 20 percent, that's a weekly income of £1,200 or above, we could avoid 158,000 emergency admissions annually. They found nearly 38,000 avoidable deaths associated with treatable conditions. People in the poorest fifth of households in Britain are three times more likely to go to hospital than people in the richest fifth.
One of the biggest things we can do to help the NHS is to reduce inequality in Britain. Unfortunately the health harms reaped on us all by extreme inequality will take many years for our society to recover from.
The report is available at http://www.york.ac.uk/media/che/documents/policybriefing/Health%20Inequality.pdf