10 highlights from our work to build a healthier UK in 2022
24 August 2023
We live in challenging times. The Health Foundation, with our mission to build a healthier UK, is in a position to help.
Our independence and endowment allow us to plan coherent short and long-term programmes of work, take some creative risks and work with others to combine forces on issues. They also allow us to build up a rich picture of what is happening to our health and across the health and care system, to be able to frame challenges and opportunities accurately and credibly influence policymakers and other important stakeholders on their strategies to address them.
Here we summarise 10 examples of our impact during 2022.
Download our 2022 annual report to explore more highlights of our work.
10 examples of our impact
1. Establishing our expertise in workforce analysis
To influence the NHS workforce plan, we delivered a programme of analysis on the health and care workforce throughout the year, with our flagship workforce projections report at the centre. This has positioned us as experts in the field and led to further work with the NHS.
2. Encouraging action on health inequalities in Scotland
Our independent review of health and health inequalities in Scotland built support for policy action among influential stakeholders and politicians, and our evidence was used by the Scottish Parliament Inquiry into health inequalities. We're now setting up a new Policy Research Unit in Scotland to take this work forward.
3. Influencing national improvement approaches
Our credibility in quality improvement meant we influenced a high-profile national review of improvement in the NHS. We contributed learning from the evaluation of the NHS partnership with Virginia Mason Institute, our fellowships and the Q community.
4. Helping people understand what drives health inequalities
International comparisons of life expectancy published in our Evidence Hub reached a wide audience, making the front page of The Guardian, and establishing us as a trusted source of evidence about health inequalities, with content referenced in parliamentary debates.
5. Exploring public attitudes to health and social care
Our reports from two rounds of public polling on attitudes to health and social care with Ipsos received strong media coverage and helped inform debate about NHS reform. We presented the findings to the National Quality Board, the BMA and other stakeholders.
6. Influencing local service planning through our Networked Data Lab (NDL)
The NDL’s analysis on children and young people’s mental health secured widespread national media coverage and is now being used by local areas to inform service planning and delivery.
7. Launching Health Equals
The launch of our campaign to highlight health inequalities in the UK was received exceptionally well by stakeholders and members, with the website achieving very high traffic in its first week.
8. Building understanding of and evidence for quality improvement
THIS Institute launched its Elements of Improving Quality and Safety in Healthcare series, which provides an expert overview of improvement approaches. In collaboration with two royal colleges, THIS also led the development of a framework to reduce brain injury at birth.
9. Recommendations for tackling inequalities in general practice
We published research on policies to improve general practice in deprived areas in England since 1990. We presented our findings and recommendations to the government and to various national NHS bodies.
10. Encouraging debate on health and the economy
Economist Andy Haldane delivered our REAL Challenge lecture, highlighting the importance of health for UK economic growth. This prompted wide discussion, with coverage linking the lecture to the debate about why labour force participation has decreased in the UK.