REPORT: Root Causes of Poor Health

Beyond the NHS: Addressing The Root Causes of Poor Health

As a country we are still overly preoccupied with cure rather than prevention and it is leading to an inefficient allocation of public spending and stagnating health. There is an urgency to address the root causes of poor health and this can only be achieved by tackling the social determinants. It has been estimated that healthcare is only responsible for between 15 and 43% of health outcomes. This is the conclusion of a new report that focuses its attention on the social determinants of health, as research consistently indicates that these account for a far larger share of health outcomes.

The report looks beyond healthcare and the NHS, to investigate the social and economic conditions that can cause ill health in the first place. The report suggests that there is an urgent need to reorient health policy towards tackling the root socioeconomic causes of poor health. From poor quality housing to knife crime, from skills deprivation to in-work poverty and homelessness, the great socioeconomic challenges of our time are also our great health challenges.

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