SCIE media releases 2010

Bridging the gap: social care can impact on health inequality

06 July 2010

Research shows that social interventions impact on health disadvantage… but to impact on health inequality, they must be adequately and sustainably resourced.

SCIE Research briefing 33: The contribution of social work and social care to the reduction of health inequalities: four case studies

The first summary of research considering the role of social care in reducing health inequalities in the UK has been released by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE).

The much debated Marmot Review released earlier this year highlighted that social factors cause health inequalities, but made little reference to social care. Through the analysis of four case studies, the SCIE summary shows that social care is fundamental to driving down inequality because it improves the health of some of the most disadvantaged in our society. However, it concludes that in order to be truly effective the social care sector must be adequately and sustainably resourced.

David Walden, Director of Adult Services at SCIE, explains: Social work is an integral part of the health system. Carers work to improve the wellbeing of those who are most at risk from poor health, and naturally this means they are best placed to impact on health disadvantage. It seems an obvious point to make, but this briefing is the first step towards demonstrating the true impact of social work on health equality in the UK.

Key messages of the research summary include:

SCIE acknowledges the support of the Special Interest Group of JUCSWEC Research Committee, which initiated this work.

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