Public Health Scotland has today, on International Human Rights Day, launched a learning hub focussed on human rights and health inequalities.  It explains the fundamental links between the right to health and the reduction of health inequalities and sets out what is required for people in a leadership role to take action to reduce inequalities.

The resource has primarily been developed for NHS non-executive board members. The hub will also be of value to executives and those in senior leadership roles across public services.

Other sections of the hub cover aspects of addressing health inequalities including governance, influencing and decision making.

Professor Jim McGoldrick, Chair of Public Health Scotland said:

"Everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, yet Scotland has a difference in healthy life expectancy between our most and least deprived areas of 24 years for women and 23 years for men. We went into the pandemic with the worst health inequalities in western and central Europe and the gap is likely to widen without action to support those most vulnerable to the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19.

"Organisations providing public services, including health boards, local authorities and third sector organisations, have an important role in reducing health inequalities and upholding the right to health.  This new resource will help leaders to understand the breadth of action they can take and the responsibility that their organisation has as a service provider, an employer and as a procurer of goods and services.  Taking action to reduce health inequalities and improve health outcomes in our deprived communities is more important now than ever. No one organisation can do this alone, it is the work we all do collectively that can make a difference and create a Scotland where everyone thrives."

Last updated: 20 January 2021