Ethnic Health Inequalities and the NHS


The King’s Fund was commissioned by the NHS Race and Health Observatory to examine the architecture within which the NHS operates and to consider the following questions:

  • What policies are in place that enable the health care system to address ethnic
    health inequalities?
  • Are these policies being implemented effectively, and if not, what can be done to
    improve implementation?
  • What new measures would enable the health care system to make better progress
    and what is the role of emerging new health system structures in this?

To do this we conducted a rapid piece of policy analysis using literature searching and a small number of interviews (n=10) with key stakeholders from NHS organisations and relevant representative bodies. We also drew on knowledge and insights about the health
and care system from colleagues at The King’s Fund with expertise in ethnic health inequalities, workplace equality, health inequalities in the general population, and the development of new system structures such as ICSs and primary care networks (PCNs). This report identifies areas where national and system leaders need to take urgent action to address longstanding inequalities not just in health outcomes but in access to and experience of care for Black and minority ethnic people, and the experiences of members of the NHS workforce.


Key Recommendations were made under the following subheadings:

    • National policy and strategy
    • Accountability and improvement support
    • Funding
    • Leadership
    • Workforce
    • Data and Evidence
    • Community Engagement

Download full report PDF

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