Health without Wealth summit highlights challenges

Around 100 health and care professionals from across Leeds heard startling details of the impact poverty has on health today at a conference featuring experts from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Children’s Society and the NHS.

The event focussed on finding practical and innovative ways to be more responsive to the challenges of poor health and poverty.

Experts highlighted the poor health issues that disproportionately affect people on low incomes and they looked at ways that use of innovation and best practice could provide solutions even while resources were under pressure.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“There’s a lot of good work around financial inclusion, budgeting and debt advice already taking place and we’re tackling loan sharks head on. With rising rates of social housing tenants in arrears and the effects of welfare reform starting to hit, the effect of poverty on the health of residents of all ages is a real and major challenge which we are committed to tackling.”

Cllr Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“The Health and Wellbeing Board is the forum for making health decisions in the city and we’re actively trying to find ways to reduce health inequalities and support more people back into work and healthy employment.

"But with over 30,000 children living in poverty in Leeds and a life expectancy gap of 12 years between the most and least deprived ward in the city, it is absolutely clear we need to do all we can to ensure health and care professionals are able and ready to respond, both to prevent poverty and to minimise its effect.”

Speakers included:

• Ruth Passman Deputy Director, Equality and Health Inequalities, Equality and Health Inequalities, NHS England),

• Dr Emma Stone (Director of Policy, Joseph Rowntree Foundation) and

• Damian Allen (Director of Children and Families, The Children’s Society)

They highlighted the importance of tackling a range of the most urgent health and poverty problems across the city, as well as discussing potential solutions with managers and practitioners from across the NHS, council and voluntary/community sector.

Dr Stone said:

“We know from our research how crucial it is for local authorities to have joined-up strategy and a real commitment to addressing poverty.

"I’m delighted Leeds has both made a clear pledge to tackling deprivation and poor health, and as today’s event shows, it is making real efforts to integrate work across the city to deliver more effective services.”

‘Health without Wealth: the health and care response to Poverty in Leeds’, was sponsored by the city’s Health and Wellbeing Board, and held at Leeds City Museum.


Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team

Leeds City Council

4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 0772 227 5370

Tel: 0113 395 0393

Fax: 0113 247 4736


Notes to editors:

Data on employment rates in Leeds can be found at: www.nomisweb.org.uk

Wider social and economic data is at: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/opendata/Pages/Leeds-Observatory.aspx

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have extensive resources detailing poverty data and information at www.jrf.org.uk

More information about the Children’s Society is at: http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/