UK Policy Briefings
Health Inequalities and Covid-19
Date Posted: Monday 23rd November 2020
- Growth in NHS spending slowed from 2010-2019 to 1.6%, down from an average of 3.7% each year since it began in 1948.
- The health, social care and social work sectors are large employment sectors within the UK economy, employing around 4.4 million people in 2019. They are dominated by women: 78% (3.45 million) employees in these sectors are women. However, they are hierarchically structured by gender.
- The NHS currently has a shortage of 100,000 staff (9% of all posts). The NHS needs an additional 5,000 internationally recruited nurses every year to prevent worsening staff shortages.
- 71% of EU migrants who are ‘key workers’ would not be eligible for a UK work visa under the proposed Immigration Bill. This includes essential non-medical NHS staff and social care workers.
- In the event of a no-deal Brexit, regulatory burden on medicines and medical devices could cost the NHS an additional £2.3 billion annually.
- Black Caribbean populations have the highest number of per capita hospital death from Covid-19 in the UK. Black African hospital deaths are 3.7 times higher, and Bangladeshi rates are twice as high as for white British people (accounting for age, gender and geographic profiles).