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Everything affects health

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A new briefing from the Welsh NHS Confederation Health and Wellbeing Alliance and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) describes how the NHS, local government and third sector organisations across Wales are working to break down barriers and tackle health inequalities.

In partnership with the Welsh NHS Confederation Health and Wellbeing Alliance, RCP Cymru Wales has launched a new briefing paper: Everything affects health, which reiterates our call for a cross-government delivery plan on poverty and inequalities that sets out milestones, timelines and clear targets detailing what every Welsh government department is doing to tackle poverty, and how ministers are working together to reduce the impact of deprivation.

In this new briefing, we have collected stories that describe how organisations from across Wales are working to reduce poverty, ill health and inequalities by breaking down barriers across health, social services, housing, the arts, benefits and welfare advice, transport, loneliness and isolation, climate change, air pollution and much more.

This follows Mind the gap, a major report from the Alliance and the RCP, which was endorsed by 50 organisations across Wales in July 2022. This called on the Welsh government to:

  • consolidate commitments on reducing inequalities and map out existing activity on public health, inequalities, poverty reduction and social security in one delivery plan, in order to improve accountability
  • provide more detailed national implementation guidance to local delivery bodies and introduce health impact assessment regulations as a priority
  • develop a shared set of performance measures focused on reducing inequalities and improve access to high-quality, robust data for evaluation
  • improve access to prevention programmes based in primary and community care, especially for those living in poverty, and invest in innovation, including screening programmes, vaccines and wearable technology
  • ensure that funding encourages collaboration and is linked to tackling inequalities and require regional partnership boards (RPBs) and public service boards (PSBs) to tackle inequalities.