spacer image
spacer image
Design element
Go to the old-home page
Go to the About page
Go to the NP4H page
Go to the Publications page
Go to the Events and Links page
Go to the Blog
Go to the Contact page
Design element

© 2005 Politics of Health Group
Site Design by Evolution Edge

A New Politics for Health

In 1986, as part of its drive towards Health for All by the Year 2000, the World Health Organisation sponsored an international conference on health promotion in Ottawa, Canada. Representatives from forty countries pledged themselves to a bold strategy to achieve health for all by moving into the arena of public policy and political commitment to health promotion (the Ottawa Charter).

The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion generated worldwide interest in a new public health, based on the promotion of healthy public policies, environments conducive to health, inclusive public services and community and individual action. Over thirty years later we have a clearer understanding of the relationships between politics, public policy and health but are still battling against the odds to realise its aims. Thirty years later, progress has been slow. PoHG and its partners wanted to learn the reasons for this, and define actions that can be taken to improve progress. We started this process by bringing together interested parties in an innovative, participatory and action-oriented conference.

Over the summer of 2016 we held a number of events around the country, where people and organisations from across the social spectrum gathered to discuss how we can achieve health justice in the UK. The findings from these meetings fed into a national event on 23rd November 2016 when over 100 people came together at Birmingham City University to work on a new charter for health – specifically, a charter that challenges health inequalities head on. Kate Pickett (co-author with Richard Wilkinson of The Spirit Level) made a powerful case for change, demonstrating how the economic model that has held sway for over 30 years has not only failed to shift the gross inequalities in health that are a stain on British society, but has exacerbated them. There were loads of ideas for policy and action and PoHG, working with participants and our partners, sifted through these to come up with a new charter for health equity – the UK Charter for Health - that we hope will be both inspirational and practical. Thanks to BCU and The Equality Trust for their support, and to all who took part. We hope all PoHG supporters will join us in making the new charter a powerful tool for change and building an irresistible movement for health justice.

On the right is a list of documents that have been produced during this process to date. Click on the titles to link to the documents.

The following areas are where we think the work needs to be done and if you can help with any of these, please let us know.

  • Reaching out to communities of people who are experiencing the impact of inequalities in health so we can include them in the process of developing the charter
  • Completing the charter so it becomes a valuable tool for campaigners , practitioners and policy makers
  • Developing a strategy for promoting it, including using the ideas that have emerged from the work so far
  • Identifying further examples of good practice to be posted on the NP4H page on the PoHG website
  • Getting help in accessing resources to promote the charter
  • Identifying a way of piloting/testing the charter and monitoring and evaluating it.

Links for activists and would-be activists

PoHG’s briefing on Health Politics as if People Mattered: 1. Working in Local Government

PoHG’s briefing on Health Politics as if People Mattered: 2. Working in Academia

The Equality Trust’s Guide for Activists

Political Compass is a ‘personal values vs party policy’ checker, to assist people in deciding which party is closest to their beliefs, so they might be encouraged to become more politically active.

Find out how to join the right union for you

Join Us

joined hands

PoHG welcomes individual and organisational members from any background related to the politics of health.

  • PoHG aims to attract a wide range of support from diverse groups and individuals.
  • PoHG will operate as a networked association for people concerned about the impact of politics on current health and health care issues and the future well being of all

NP4H Documents

If you would like to contribute contact us at:

fblogo.png fblogo.png

Donate to PoHG click here

The picture at the top of this page is © J Hewitson ( reproduced by permission of the National Labor Federation, 220 West 19 St, Suite A,NY,NY 10011,USA