Finding fairhealth through reducing health inequalities at a population level
An interview with Professor Chris Bentley
Chris is an independent public health consultant who has worked abroad and overseas. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in reducing health inequalities throughout the UK
I could have talked to Chris Bentley all day when we met up to about health inequalities. He has so much to say on the topic and I feel we only really just got started. It was so evident from our discussion that he has made it his life work and now hobby to try and reduce health inequalities at a population level. We met up at his home in the rural peak district so if you listen carefully you may be able to hear the birds at few points.
Chris kicks off by telling us why he likens talking about health inequalities to saying grace and that his ‘approach has always been very practical, not just arm wavy and well meaning, but actually an approach thinking about what can we actually do to make a difference.’ He discussed an intervention he came up with called the Population Intervention Triangle which looks at how services, community and civic based interventions interact around place-based approaches. We discussed in more detail an aspect of this triangle of how services and community can work better together. He talks about how he almost prefers the word mitigation when talking about prevention. Such an interesting idea and whenever someone has talked about prevention since then I keep coming back to this. We discuss realistic ways of achieving population health and the barriers that stand in our way. Chris also shares with us his favourite outcome measure that he uses to look at levels of health inequality. We touch on so many topics including leadership, complexity, fragmentation and variability. Chris flies the flag in making a business case for tackling health inequalities and feels strongly that you can hit frontline objectives while making a population health impact. I felt inspired to go out and change the world after talking to Chris and I hope you do too.
Links and books
You can find the Population intervention triangle, Labonte’s Prevention frame work and the POTS framework that Chris mentions in the PHE document that Chris produced – Reducing Health inequalities: System, Scale and Sustainability- http://tiny.cc/b4zmaz This is a good read in itself. Lots of tips and tools which can be used to look at populations too.
The recently published document that Chris mentioned on place passed approaches can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-inequalities-place-based-approaches-to-reduce-inequalities
Chris’ Book recommendation is Factfulness by Hans Rosling http://tiny.cc/oxzmaz