£3.4million health inequalities funding set to come after Luton pastor's 'landmark' study

Pastor Lloyd Denny Pastor Lloyd Denny
Pastor Lloyd Denny
Luton community champion Pastor Lloyd Denny produced the in-depth study

Health inequalities funding of £3.4m is due to be allocated to BLMK integrated care board (ICB) in 2024/25, after an in-depth analysis of the issue, according to a report to its governing body.

The independent Denny review of health inequalities in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes made recommendations to health and care partners to tackle this problem locally.

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Luton community champion Pastor Lloyd Denny’s research has been recognised as “a landmark study” by the board, said the report.

“The Denny review highlighted four themes for action around access, communication, representation and cultural competency (referred to by the ICB as understanding others).

“He categorised the recommendations into short-term and medium- or long-term, recognising that to deliver the positive cultural change sought by the review will take many years of building trust with residents.

“The report has received national attention since its publication, including from NHS England, think tanks and the media. It’s a leading example of a community-led approach to tackling health inequalities.

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“A diverse team is proposed to be established in February to work closely with partners to coordinate implementing the ICB’s response. Partner organisations have committed resources to tackling inequalities already.

“The ICB’s role will be to maximise the value of work going on across the system by sharing learning and understanding impact,” explained the report.

“A health inequalities steering group is advising on the allocation of funding to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and Healthwatch locally to support delivery of the ICB’s response.

“At the heart of Denny is a focus on personalised care, and how patients like to receive care and support from trained health and care professionals. This means in accordance with their preferences, beliefs, cultural values and lived experiences.

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“Building on best practice from London, the board is asked to agree partners consider the development of a new ‘what matters to you’ page within digital patient records.

“This would provide a dedicated place for how patients wish to be interacted with to be recorded and remove the need for them to repeatedly state their preferences to health and care staff.

“Where this is already in place and used, health and care workers have found it improves patient care and staff satisfaction.

“Among partners there’s a clear desire to build on Denny’s findings, and be responsive to the significant and well-established programmes of work which are tackling health inequalities at neighbourhood and place level already.”

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The review sets out how limited translation services can and are having a detrimental impact on care, so the ICB is asked to agree that partners come together to scope a system-wide translation service, added the report.

“We need to know, at neighbourhood, place and system level if the actions we’re taking are making a difference in reducing health inequalities.

“A range of measures exist across BLMK to do this, and a priority for 2024 will be defining and agreeing the system level outcomes which will be the ultimate measures of our collective success. Resident involvement in this work will be essential.”