Voluntary sector action on the social determinants of health

Good health and wellbeing can be seen as an asset. It is one of the main factors that shapes quality of life and can promote the health and wellbeing of the wider community.

Social, economic, environmental, political and cultural factors influence people’s health at every stage of life, and inequalities in these factors lead to widespread and persistent inequalities in life expectancy and time spent in good health.

Many charities pursue social and economic outcomes that impact on health outcomes, but relatively few articulate their work in terms of its relevance to health and health inequalities.

This report aims to provide the most relevant evidence to enable the voluntary sector to expand and develop its action on the social determinants of health. It has been developed with small- to medium-sized charities, who may only just be starting to engage with the issue.

The report is the start of a knowledge-sharing and activation process to ensure charities can appreciate the impact their work has on the wider determinants of health. It begins a process that will:

• Raise awareness among non-health charities that their work on the determinants of health influences health outcomes.
• Provide easily accessible evidence that demonstrates the likely health outcomes achieved by charities taking action on the social determinants of health.
• Provide evidence to shape strategy and service design in order to promote improved health.
• Enable charities to engage with policy-makers and the public about the impact of the social determinants of health in order to further build the movement around the social determinants agenda.
• Demonstrate charities’ wider impact to their funders and supporters and potentially leverage a more diverse range of funding for their activities.
• Enable charities to communicate the health benefits of their work to beneficiaries.
• Enable charities to contribute to the body of evidence by identifying and measuring their own impact on health, if appropriate.

Published : 15th November 2017*

Publisher : UCL Institute of Health Equity  [ More From This Publisher ]

Rights : UCL Institute of Health Equity

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* Although BASW has prepared the information contained within Social Work Knowledge with all due care and updates the information regularly, BASW does not warrant or represent that the information is free from errors or omission. Whilst the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. The information may change without notice and BASW is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.