Health inequalities addressed as Liverpool Responds returns

Liverpool Responds, the University of Liverpool’s online event series seeking to provide insights into the ongoing pandemic, returns to consider health inequalities and how they are exacerbated by Covid-19.

Liverpool Responds: Addressing Health Inequalities opens tomorrow (Wednesday November 4) at 10am and is being led by Professor Iain Buchan, Chair in Public Health and Clinical Informatics and Executive Dean of the University’s Institute of Population Health.

Professor Buchan will be joined on the live panel by Liverpool Director of Public Health, Matt Ashton; as well as the University’s Professor in Applied Public Health Research, Benjamin Barr; health policy analyst and historian, Professor Sally Sheard and Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in Public Health and Policy, Dr Sophie Wickham.

In May, alongside his colleagues, Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead and Professor David Taylor-Robinson, Professor Barr published a damning piece in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), under the title: Covid-19: We are not “all in it together”—less privileged in society are suffering the brunt of the damage.

The article stated: “People living in the poorest areas are twice as likely to die from Covid-19 as those in the wealthiest areas.

“Black people are three to four times as likely to die compared to white people.

“Men in low-skilled jobs are four times more likely to die than professionals.

“It is clear that we are not “all in it together” and the less privileged in society are suffering the brunt of the damage.”

Now, as we face a second wave and stand on the precipice of a second national lockdown, Professor Barr will lay out the scale of the problem and the likely trends he expects to emerge as the UK’s health inequalities are again laid bare.

Matt Ashton will offer his insights from a Liverpool public health perspective, considering the challenges posed in a city with many areas among the country’s most deprived.

And Dr Sophie Wickham – an expert in health inequalities, from obesity to smoking and bullying to mental health – will discuss the UK’s North South divide and how deeply rooted structural inequalities have been deepened by the pandemic.

Against this backdrop, Professor Sally Sheard will provide some historical context, looking back at efforts to prepare for pandemics and how disinvestment in public health has played a role in increasing the differing impact of Covid-19 on divergent demographics.

Liverpool Responds: Addressing Health Inequalities will be streamed live through Zoom and Facebook from 10am to 11am on Wednesday November 4. There is a limit to the Zoom allocation, so please do book your space in advance. You do not need a Facebook account to watch through the University’s Facebook page. To find out more, please visit