The King’s Fund response to the latest ONS data on Covid-19 and ethnicity

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Responding to the latest Office for National Statistics publications on Covid-19 and ethnicity and the social impacts of Covid-19 on different ethnic groups, Veena Raleigh, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:

‘Today’s reports remind us of the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on ethnic minority communities. The death toll is much higher among some ethnic minority groups, with socio-economic factors such as occupational exposure, overcrowded housing and residence in urban areas being major contributors.

‘The evidence lays bare the profound mental health and financial impacts of the first lockdown across all groups in society. Black communities in particular have a higher death rate from Covid-19 and are also more vulnerable to the economic impacts of the pandemic as they are likely to have fewer savings to fall back on. The data also highlights the diverse range of impacts on different ethnic communities, all of whom have their own unique experiences and challenges.

‘The lack of ethnic differences in access to and use of health care services during this time for those with a health condition is a welcome finding. 

‘The mounting evidence of the unequal health and economic impacts that the pandemic is having highlights the urgent need to invest in a health and care system that doesn’t just struggle to cope but that promotes health in all communities. It also calls for the underlying socio-economic inequalities, so graphically exposed by Covid-19, to be redressed.’

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.