Covid has devastated the north of England – the ‘levelling up’ agenda must address regional inequality

Northerners spent far longer in more restrictive types of lockdowns than the rest of the country, says Ian Hamilton. This has no doubt led to higher rates of loneliness and a poor mental wellbeing

Monday 13 September 2021 09:18
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<p>Boris Johnson has announced a UK-wide 'health and social care levy' to address funding</p>

Boris Johnson has announced a UK-wide 'health and social care levy' to address funding

We’ve become desensitised to the ways that the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on lives and communities, and there is a danger that a new report by the Northern Health Science Alliance on inequality will be lost or viewed as inevitable. Uncomfortable and familiar as it might be, its damning findings must be addressed.

The Northern Health Science Alliance is a group made up of academics, policy makers and frontline NHS workers and managers. Their report focuses on how Covid has impacted the everyday lives of people living in the north of England. This is a timely analysis, as Boris Johnson has pledged to “level up” the country by reducing inequality.

We knew that inequality was entrenched prior to the pandemic but what has been shocking is the way that it has grown, accelerated by an uneven pattern of restrictions and lack of economic resilience, as well as a range of individual factors including physical and psychological health.

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