Someone living in the affluent London suburb of Kensington and Chelsea is much more likely to live a long and disability-free life than their counterpart who lives in Blackpool or in a deprived area of Manchester. These ‘extra’ 10 years of life are a consequence of the social conditions in which they each live: poverty, disability, damp or overcrowded housing, a poor diet all have a negative impact upon their health and wellbeing. These social inequalities cause health inequalities. By addressing the social conditions of people’s lives, social workers and social care workers make a key contribution to reducing health inequalities and improving social outcomes among the communities in which they work.

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