Improving equity of health and wellbeing outcomes for families during pregnancy and babies up to a year old

Our new portfolio of regional health equity programmes is central to our 2021 – 2026 strategy – targeting specific health equity gaps through a portfolio of projects focused on the adoption and spread of innovation.

Our first regional programme focuses on the health equity gaps in perinatal health and care. Our second regional programme is focused on mental health provision for children and young people. A third programme will be determined/approved in autumn 2021.

Our aims

We have the following aims for the perinatal programme overall:

  • To design and implement a health equity programme that makes a demonstratable improvement in perinatal outcomes.
  • To deliver a 2-3 year programme of multi-agency targeted interventions, to deliver quantifiable and sustainable improvements in health equity outcomes with the potential for national adoption and spread through the national AHSN Network.
  • To develop and pilot a new approach to delivering programmes, central to which is a method for user engagement that delivers insight, that can be applied across our regional health equity programmes and inform our approach to AHSN Network national programme delivery.

Regional Programmes

We anticipate our regional programmes will focus on tackling health equity gaps in:

  • Access to Care
  • Quality of Care
  • Opportunities for a healthy life
  • Individual agency in managing health.

In practice, our experience suggests our work is likely to focus on working with population groups with the following characteristics:

  • Socioeconomic – unemployed, low income and areas of deprivation
  • Protected characteristics - age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability
  • Exclusion through geography – in both rural and urban context
  • Vulnerable groups – homeless people, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, sex workers, vulnerable migrants, people who leave prison.

In our first area of work – perinatal health and care - we are seeking to keep a broad understanding of “perinatal” in order to consider a wide range of possible impacts in this area. At present our working definition covers pregnancy, birth and families with babies up to one year old.  An evidence review and data analysis is underway to inform the anticipated target population groups.

Our experience suggests that delivering impact through our perinatal programme will be dependent on our ability to engage with those with experience of inequitable perinatal outcomes and those involved in delivering care and support in perinatal care pathways. We already have a number of engagement strands underway, including with clinicians, academics, Children’s Centres and public health. However, we are keen to hear your contributions to our work around health equity and perinatal health and care. Please add your comments via this link.