The NHS’s role in tackling poverty

This content relates to the following topics:

One of the main drivers behind the creation of the NHS was to protect the poorest in society from being bankrupted by the need to pay for care. But the NHS can do more to mitigate, prevent and reduce poverty. This report sets out what the NHS, as the largest economic institution in the country, needs to maximise its contribution to tackling poverty, within its resources and with its partners.

With one fifth of the UK population experiencing poverty and the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic not yet fully realised, this is more important now than ever. The authors identify three key roles for the NHS: raising awareness among staff, developing concerted action to meet the needs of those experiencing poverty and using its voice to advocate for tackling poverty. Across each of these, the NHS needs to work more collaboratively and creatively with its partners and local communities. 

Read our report >>

Sign up for our upcoming virtual conference on Time for action on poverty: practical steps for the NHS and its partners from 19-22 September 2022.


Christine Stringer

Social Services
Comment date
20 March 2021

It is my understanding that with the creeping privatisation of Nye Bevan’s NHS since the 70’s, it is inevitable that this Country will se a return to the bad old days of pre 1948. In those days when fatal illnesses like TB were rife, elderly Parents used to commit suicide if they had this diagnosis. This was due to not wanting to become a financial burden on their Children. After the NHS was founded, which became the envy of the world, statistics showed that the suicide rate dropped markedly, they were at last able to receive free healthcare treatment. We must never go back to those days.

Add your comment