By Nick J. Spencer, Elizabeth Dowler
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Additional info for Challenging health inequalities : from Acheson to 'choosing health'
Html) New Labour came to power in 1997 to the theme of D:Ream’s ‘Things can only get better’. As the lyrics to its campaign tune said, it thought that it had found the cause of all that was wrong in Britain and that it was the party that would be the cure to the disease of prejudice and greed. It was going to be an angel – and things could only get better. Thus it was surely a good sign that before the May 1997 election it had announced that it would launch an independent inquiry into inequalities in health.
Its starting point was to improve the health of everyone and the health of the worst off in particular. It advocated a new partnership between people, communities and government that has been a hallmark of government action in this area ever since. 20 Progress in tackling health inequalities The Acheson Report had served its purpose in contributing to this new health strategy. The detailed analysis in the report and the scope of its recommendations meant that it was unlikely to be relegated to a dusty shelf.
The MAT team was encouraged to think freely and was not burdened with terms of reference. The MAT presentations were designed to act as a spur to discussion and emergence of ideas. They were designed to absorb the lessons from practitioners about what was needed and what worked, and from experts about the evidence and the systems. The first recommendation of the prevention and inequalities MAT was for national health inequalities targets. It argued that a plan without targets would change little – and it focused its recommendations on this proposal.
Challenging health inequalities : from Acheson to 'choosing health' by Nick J. Spencer, Elizabeth Dowler