UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - UKNSCC
2008 UK National Smoking Cessation Conference - Birmingham more...

Tackling inequalities: findings and recommendations from a mapping exercise
Linda Marks, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Public Policy and Health, Durham University, UK


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Linda Marks

Narrowing the health gap is a policy priority and smoking remains the biggest single factor contributing to differences in life expectancy between social groups. Despite decreases in smoking prevalence, inequalities persist and relative inequality has widened. This presentation summarises results from a review of smoking cessation services targeted at disadvantaged groups and areas, part of a wider mapping review of interventions that reduce rates of premature death in disadvantaged areas. This was commissioned from Durham University, in 2007, by the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE as one of 4 reviews designed to inform intervention guidance. A combination of methods was used to identify the following:

(i) approaches to identifying target populations, including ward-based approaches, client databases and lifestyle surveys;

(ii) ways of reaching target populations and disadvantaged areas, including the use of client-centred approaches such as social marketing;

(iii) innovative use of GMS and pharmacy contracts;

(iv) improving access through developing targeted and flexible client-friendly outreach services, including drop-ins, mobile services and the use of a wide range of community, leisure and work locations;

(v) methods for preventing relapse, including text messaging and local incentive schemes. While mapping exercises are snapshots in time, the review illustrates how national policies are being translated into local priorities and interventions, describes the range of service developments targeted at disadvantaged groups and areas and highlights gaps in research and practice.


About the presenter
Linda Marks is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Policy and Health, School of Medicine and Health, Durham University. Her research interests include public health policy, inequalities in health and the implementation gap between policy and practice. She is currently leading a research project on commissioning for health improvement, funded as part of the NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation programme of public health research. Prior to this she was a Fellow in Health Policy Analysis at the King’s Fund and an independent consultant. She is also a Non Executive Director of Darlington Primary Care Trust.

Chair: Steve Crone

Chair: Steve Crone



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