Image of a Black man. He is sat on a fence on a street in London

Urban health

Why we’re backing the Black Health Inequalities Summit

21 March 2024

We’re proud to support the Black Health Inequalities Summit, hosted by the Caribbean & African Health Network. 

From our work in Lambeth and Southwark, we know that there can’t be health equity without racial equity.  

One in four people in our boroughs are from a Black background – and evidence shows that they are much more likely to experience poor health than their neighbours from other ethnic backgrounds. 

The proportion of people living with two or more long-term health conditions is substantially higher among people Black communities (29%) than those from Asian (19%) or White (17%) communities. 

Whilst Black people are likely to experience their first long-term health condition just as early as White people, systematic discrimination and distrust in the healthcare service means that, on average, they receive a diagnosis four years later. 

We also know that people from Black backgrounds are more likely to be stuck living in areas of high air pollution, are less likely to receive safe or timely care when their children experience racial trauma and mental health problems and are not given access to affordable, nutritious food – all of which have a huge impact on their physical and mental health. 

That’s why we’re proud to support the Black Health Inequalities Summit, hosted by the Caribbean & African Health Network. 

The sold-out conference will bring together policy-makers, senior healthcare leaders, health professionals, funders and community organisations to discuss the ways communities and system actors can collaborate to improve the health of Black Londoners. 

Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Chief Executive of the Caribbean & African Health Network says: 

“By connecting Caribbean and African community groups with experts in health, we’re helping create sustainable change and much needed support for Black-led organisations in the post-COVID world, and bringing together people to act on the systems that drive structural health inequalities.” 

We’ll be joining our partners from Rooted By Design, The Motherhood Group and Five X More who will be sharing their lived experience and bringing examples from their work in advocacy and community-building in our boroughs.  

I’m speaking on a panel on funding Black-led community health and wellbeing initiatives to create sustainable change in Black health, joining Professor Bola Owolabi, Director of the National Healthcare Inequalities Improvement Programme at NHS England, Lizzie Smith, Director of Workforce, Training and Education at NHS London and Shane Ryan, Chief Advisor at The National Lottery Community Fund, who we are co-funding the conference with. 

David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, says: 

“As the largest community funder in the UK, equity, diversity and inclusion must be at the heart of everything we do. We take an equity-based approach and our ambition is to invest most in places, people and communities experiencing poverty, disadvantage and discrimination.  

“Key to our new strategy is enabling people to live healthier lives – one of our community-led missions. This is why we’re joining up with Impact on Urban Health to support the first Black Health Inequalities Summit which, thanks to National Lottery players, will address the barriers that Black communities face in society.”  

Through our work on urban health, we back organisations and ideas that help people live healthier lives, no matter their background. 

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we’re acting on health inequity.