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A healthy population is one of any nation’s most important assets. Good health supports positive social and economic outcomes for the individual and for society.

The UK entered the pandemic with life expectancy stalling for the first time in a century and falling for some. Following the 2008 financial crisis, public services had been eroded and the underlying economy and social fabric frayed. 

The pandemic and response to it have further exposed the inequalities in our society. In October 2020, the Health Foundation launched a time-limited UK-wide inquiry to consider:

  • how people’s experience of the pandemic was influenced by their health and existing inequalities
  • the likely impact of actions taken in response to the pandemic on people’s health and health inequalities – now and in the future. 

In July 2021, we published our findings report, Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery.

What did the inquiry do?

The inquiry gathered evidence from a wide range of sources to consider how experiences of the pandemic were influenced by people’s existing health conditions and inequalities in health. Findings highlight implications for government decision making in recovery and the investment needed to ensure everyone can enjoy the same opportunity for good health and wellbeing. 

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