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Health Inequalities National Support Team resources

Practical support to improve health and wellbeing, tackle variation in practice and improve health outcomes for all.


The Health Inequalities National Support Team (HINST) was one of a number of DH public health national support teams that provided tailored delivery support to health partnerships in England – PCTs / NHS trusts and local authorities. Local areas were offered support identified principally on the extent of challenge and who would most benefit.  HINST visited all 70 areas formerly known as spearheads (the 20% of areas in England with the poorest health and greatest disadvantage), plus a dozen other areas who also experienced high levels of deprivation and had high mortality rates from cardiovascular disease. The programme finished work in March 2011 and published its key outputs which distil the learning from the programme for the benefit of local commissioners and providers.

The documents, guides and tools highlight ways of improving outcomes, especially for patients and communities who often experience the poorest health and premature death.  Evidence-based, high quality, innovative and early interventions make financial as well as clinical and social sense. Tackling inequalities effectively improves care and services for all patients and communities.

The materials are highly practical, many illustrated with tangible examples of improvements made in local areas, as well as providing a step-by-step checklist of how to take certain approaches and initiatives forward. They could be useful for:

  • National policy bodies and agencies
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Health and Wellbeing Boards
  • Transition teams in PCT clusters
  • Public health teams
  • Elected member scrutiny panel members
  • LINks/HealthWatch, voluntary and community sector bodies




How To guides


Practical data tools

  • Modelling the numbers. This practical Excel spreadsheet assists local areas in planning who to target and with which interventions, whilst giving clear indications of the number of lives that can be saved in order to strategically address health inequalities. This tool sits alongside the Modelling How To guide. 
  • Slide pack for GP consortia (produced with the National Clinical Commissioning Network). This pack highlights how GP commissioning can take health inequalities into account when commissioning.