'Death by postcode' report on health inequalities

'Death by postcode' report on health inequalities

The Ann Brown Trust at Farset, with support from the Institute of Public Health (IPH) and the Public Health Agency (PHA), launched a report on health inequalities in communities in Belfast called ‘Death by Postcode’, on Wednesday 16 June 2010 in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings at 2.15pm.

The launch featured contributions from Barney McCaughey, Chairman of the Ann Brown Trust at Farset, Baroness May Blood, Trustee at Farset, Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, Public Health Agency and Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Michael McGimpsey.

A body of evidence exists which shows the huge gap in health and well-being across communities in Northern Ireland and ‘Death by Postcode’ highlights that now is the time for action. The report demonstrates the need for a range of people to become involved in tackling inequalities.

At the launch Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive PHA, spoke about the need to break the cycle of health inequalities and said that “important opportunities such as the new Investing for Health strategy and next Programme for Government will drive and set the agenda for all concerned. The PHA will ensure that the skills and expertise needed to shape the agenda is available to those who need it.”

It is estimated that there are some 4,000 premature deaths per annum in Northern Ireland. In addition, there are unacceptable inequalities in health often associated with socio-economic status and disadvantaged areas. Addressing these issues through the promotion of wellbeing, the prevention of illness and injury, early intervention and good long term care is a key priority for all involved with the report.