The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted longstanding inequalities experienced by the most disadvantaged groups in our society. The National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme is committed to working with our partners to ensure that staff are equipped with the right skills and knowledge to support the reduction of healthcare inequalities.
A number of training resources are in development, including an online health inequalities course developed alongside the Royal College of General Practitioners. The course explores health inequalities – what they are and why they matter to patients, communities and practitioners. The first module is relevant to all practitioners in the United Kingdom and offers an introduction to health inequalities including an overview of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme. A module on leadership is also available examining different approaches to tackling health inequalities at various levels of influence. It focuses on practical actions to make a difference. The course is free to access from the Royal College of General Practitioners.
A series of e-learning packages focusing on the five clinical priority areas outlined in the Core20PLUS5 approach is also in development. Due to launch in Summer 2022, the e-learning package, co-produced with e-learning for Healthcare (e-lfh), will provide an overview of health inequalities within each clinical area, and how to recognise and mitigate barriers to access within the Core20PLUS populations. It will also cover culturally competent communications, decision making with patients from marginalized groups and quality improvement methodologies to tackle health inequalities. Aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate trainees across professions, the training will equip participants with a deeper understanding of health inequalities and what can be done to address the challenge.
As part of a national campaign, a new training module for NHS staff has also been launched to support increased knowledge of Sickle Cell disorder and how to treat it. The training module also includes information on healthcare inequalities related to the condition.