Skip to main content

Health Inequalities

Volume 470: debated on Wednesday 23 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what indicators his Department uses to measure health inequalities. (180440)

The headline measures of infant mortality and life expectancy at birth are used to measure progress on the health inequalities national public service agreement target.

The “difference in all age all cause mortality between the England average and the fifth of areas with the worst health and deprivation indicators” is also used as a proxy for the inequalities gap in life expectancy at birth.

In addition, the Department measures progress on 12 cross-government headline indicators for health inequalities, listed as follows:

death rates from the big killers—cancer and circulatory disease;

teenage conception rate;

road accident casualty rates in disadvantaged communities;

numbers of primary care professionals;

uptake of flu vaccinations;

smoking among manual groups and among pregnant women;

educational attainment;

consumption of fruit and vegetables;

proportion in non-decent housing;

physical education and school sport;

children in poverty; and

homeless families living in temporary accommodation.

Progress on the headline indicators is reported in the ‘Tackling Health Inequalities: Status Report on the Programme for Action-2006 Update of Headline Indicators’, a copy of the Report has been placed in the Library.