Public views of health inequalities revealed in new animation and blog

People from different walks of life have revealed what 'health inequalities' mean to them in work co-led by members of the public and Fuse researchers at Newcastle University.

Health inequalities are avoidable and unfair differences in health between different groups of people. Not only are some people living less healthy lives but also dying earlier than they should be.

The key messages from these conversations are revealed in a new animation and a blog by Katie Clarke-Day, the co-production and lived experience lead at the Coalition for Personalised Care, about her own experience of reducing avoidable hospital admissions and health inequalities.

UNFAIR research study

The work is part of the UNderstanding Factors that explain Avoidable hospital admission Inequalities - Research study (UNFAIR) which is looking at how to reduce health inequalities, particularly for avoidable hospital admissions. The term ‘health inequalities’ can be complex, and difficult to both communicate and understand. Four members of the public have been involved in the UNFAIR project from the start. They encouraged the researchers to seek more diverse views, particularly those who are at higher risk of health inequalities.

Dr Charlotte Parbery-Clark, Fuse researcher at Newcastle University and co-lead on this project, said: "Everyone we spoke to during this project wants more to be done about tackling health inequalities. As well as looking to the research and evidence, I believe really listening to our communities and working together are key to this."

Key messages from workshops revealed in the animation

At every stage of the project, the researchers used a collaborative and inclusive approach to integrate members of the public in the planning and delivery of different workshops. Community groups and participants in under-served areas were invited to the workshops using known local and national networks, including the Fuse network.

A diverse group of around 60 people took part in events including an online workshop open to anyone in England, and three local face-to-face workshops, with one being peer-led by members of the public.

In these workshops, participants talked about what ‘health inequalities’ mean to them and how they feel about the term. Participants also shared their own experiences as well as their views of possible ways to reduce health inequalities. Working with Kaleidoscope CFA, a local filmmaking company, researchers and members of the public then produced the animation revealing the key messages from the workshops.

Rosemary Nicholls, a member of the public and co-lead on this project, said: "One of the key messages for me was that people are ready to freely contribute their views if they're treated with respect. They feel they have knowledge that's worth a hearing."

Having better health should not be about privilege

Additionally, Katie Clarke Day tells the story of how she worked with professionals and support networks to reduce avoidable hospital admissions after a life-changing diagnosis in the blog. This shows how personalised care can make a huge difference to someone's life. What is described as ‘privileges’, such as having money to get to the hospital as well as having a full-time carer, enabled the changes Katie needed. Without access to these 'privileges', her life would not have changed. She describes the importance of tackling health inequalities because having better health should not be about privilege.


The UNFAIR project is co-led by Fuse Associates Dr Charlotte Parbery-Clark and Dr Sarah Sowden from Newcastle University. The project team includes Fuse Senior Investigator Prof Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health, Newcastle University.

This project was funded by the Tilly Hale Award from Newcastle University and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Last modified: Wed, 08 Feb 2023 17:30:46 GMT