About the Author: Rachel Smyth

21 February 2022

On Friday 4th February 2022, 18 members of the Health Inequalities Sub Group of The Coalition for Personalised Care gathered online to welcome Andrew Fenton, Transformation Director (Health Improvement & Inequalities), into discussion about a new ‘connector’ programme associated with Core20PLUS5, a national NHS England and NHS Improvement approach to supporting the reduction of health inequalities at both national and system level.

Andrew shared a short presentation about how the work sets out to define a target population cohort of people – the ‘Core20PLUS’ – and identifies ‘5’ focus clinical areas requiring accelerated improvement. Governance for these five focus areas sits with national programmes; national and regional teams coordinate local systems to achieve national aims.

  1. Maternity: ensuring continuity of care for 75% of women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and from the most deprived groups.
  2. Severe mental illness (SMI): ensuring annual health checks for 60% of those living with SMI (bringing SMI in line with the success seen in learning disabilities).
  3. Chronic respiratory disease: a clear focus on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) driving up uptake of COVID, flu and pneumonia vaccines to reduce infective exacerbations and emergency hospital admissions due to those exacerbations.
  4. Early cancer diagnosis: 75% of cases diagnosed at stage 1 or 2 by 2028.
  5. Hypertension case-finding: to allow for interventions to optimise blood pressure and minimise the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.

The connector work that Andrew and his colleagues are leading has recently funded a number of test and learn initiatives that broadly seek to deepen the overall approach of Core20Plus5 in order to help support the initiative and others like it to become sustainable.

The conversation sparked some interesting discussion with the group that centred largely around the growing health inequity they were witnessing in many people’s lives.  We discussed the increased cost of living and the impact these pressures are having on individual and community health and explored with Andrew how the new thinking sought to better understand and respond to these realities.

You can find out more about Core20PLUS5 here.