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Colleagues could feel the energy in the room at Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership’s ‘Your role in reducing inequalities’ event last week, hosted by the newly formed Reducing Inequalities Alliance.

Over 100 partners and colleagues from across the district gathered at Bradford City Football Club to hear from local and national speakers leading the way in reducing inequalities.

The event was an occasion to mark the launch of the Reducing Inequalities Alliance – a movement that aims to support and coordinate action to reduce inequalities in Bradford District and Craven. It is the role of the alliance to work together to share concerns about inequalities, collaborate and drive action to reduce them.

Speakers at the event included renowned public health consultant and academic Professor Chris Bentley, Professor Mark Mon Williams of the University of Leeds, Bradford Council’s chief executive Kersten England and a pre-recorded message from Dr Bola Owolabi, director of health inequalities at NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Attendees also heard from representatives from the alliance and the partnership, voluntary and community sector (VCS) colleagues and the Healthy Minds Apprentices.

The event ended with a workshop that provided the opportunity for attendees to reflect on what they had heard over the course of the afternoon and think about the role they can take individually to reduce inequalities, using the “My role in tackling inequalities” framework from the Kings Fund.

Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford Council said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic we saw inequalities laid bare and there was a disproportionate impact of Covid deaths and disruption on the old, those with existing health conditions, minority ethnic communities and some key worker groups.

“Although young people were far less likely to face serious illness from Covid-19 there was significant disruption to their education, training, and social development. This has had a lasting effect on young people and the increase in mental health conditions we saw prior to Covid-19 has continued.

“To tackle the inequalities across the district we need to work together to take a population health approach. This requires action on the wider determinants of health: by creating healthy environments; good housing for all; improving education, training and work conditions; on our health behaviours and lifestyles; on the social fabric of the communities we live in; and by designing an accessible and integrated health and care system.”

Dr Sohail Abbas, director – Reducing Inequalities Alliance, Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership said: “Reducing inequalities is a big and complex problem, but every person can play an important role. We wanted colleagues and partners at the event to use the afternoon as opportunity to listen, reflect and take individual action to reduce inequalities based on what we see and hear every day across Bradford District and Craven.

“The success of the alliance will depend on its ability to harness the power of people across our place and our local community assets. People who are committed to reducing inequalities in their work and life and who have joined us at this important event. We are looking forward to working together in a way that continues the districts position as a national leader in reducing inequalities.”

You can learn more about the alliance on our Reducing Inequalities Alliance webpage.