Health Inequalities in Ex-Coalfield/Industrial Communities

Shucksmith, Janet; Carlebach, Sarit; Riva, Mylene; Curtis, Sarah; Hunter, David; Blackman, Tim and Hudson, Ray (2010). Health Inequalities in Ex-Coalfield/Industrial Communities. Local Government Association, London.



• National and global economic forces have ravaged the economies and societies of those coalfield areas which were once the powerhouses of the UK economy
• There have been successive waves of regeneration activity designed to replace lost jobs and to repair the economic and social damage created by industrial decline
• Tackling health inequalities has been lower on the list of priorities than job creation and environmental improvement to date
• Poor health status in former coalfield areas may contribute to the difficulties of social and economic regeneration. There are also social justice arguments for tackling health inequalities
• Health inequalities are not only found amongst older populations directly connected to former heavy or extractive industry. A double jeopardy is at work whereby younger populations are equally badly affected by poor employment opportunities and low expectations
• Direct action to improve community health at a local level is essential – waiting for health improvements to come about as a natural consequence of an economic upturn is unjust and may even contribute to continued poor economic performance.

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