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Legal & General has established a new partnership with Sir Michael Marmot to tackle health inequalities in the UK and to create a multi-million pound charity fund.

Legal & General has established a long-term partnership with Sir Michael Marmot, director of University College London (UCL) Institute of Health Equity (IHE) and Professor of Epidemiology. The charity – The Legal & General IHE Places Fund – will examine how improvements in the design and construction of cities can help tackle health inequalities and support ‘leveling’ in parts of the UK. United.

The Fund will sit alongside a new legal and general IHE network for UK public authorities and businesses to support the creation of ideas, the sharing of best practices and ideas, and innovation that can help increase the long-term health outcomes and reduce health inequalities.

Unite to make a difference

The partnership represents an important step forward as, for the first time, brings business together with local government and the voluntary sector to make a real difference in the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and health equity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the close link between health, wealth and overall economic performance – “Health equals wealth” – and particularly highlighted how poor health outcomes are exacerbated for individuals and regions in the most disadvantaged areas.

The conditions in which people are born, live and work are the most important determinant of good health according to the World Health Organization. In the UK, the gap between rich and poor in terms of healthy life expectancy is almost twenty years, with people in the most disadvantaged areas not only having shorter lives, but also dropping close to a third of their life in poor health.

The next step

As the correlation between health and wealth has become increasingly clear, research in this area has tended to focus on health services and the role of government in finding solutions. Exploring the role of businesses as employers, providers of goods and services, and as investors and innovators is an important next step.

Health inequalities cause productivity losses of between £ 31bn and £ 33bn each year in England alone. results.

Sir Michael Marmot said: “Our Marmot Review 10 Years On report has drawn attention to unacceptable and growing health inequalities in England.

“The issue was not the lack of knowledge about what to do to improve health equity, but how to do it. In light of the pandemic, which has amplified social inequalities, our Build Back Fairr report argued that we must seize the opportunity to build a fairer and healthier society. For the first time, with this welcome initiative from Legal and General, we have the opportunity to bring together businesses with local government and the voluntary sector to make a real difference in the conditions in which people are born, grow up, live. , work, and age, and health equity. This represents an important step forward. “

Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Sir Michael Marmot to advance this groundbreaking research and multi-million pound funding partnership. Reducing health inequalities is part of leveling – literally a matter of life and death. ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) companies and investors are essential to reduce carbon emissions. The ‘E’ of ESG works, but the ‘S’ lags behind – the impact of business activity on the health of the population and its associated costs is currently not adequately accounted for . After COVID, there is a strong case for seeing health and health inequalities as crucial to the ‘S’ of ESG – or even for explicitly calling health in a new framework ‘ESHG’.

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