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New Research Finds Poorest Get Worse Quality of NHS care in England

New analysis has found that people living in the most deprived areas of England experience a worse quality of NHS care and poorer health outcomes than people living in the least deprived areas. These include spending longer in A&E and having a worse experience of making a GP appointment.

The research, undertaken by QualityWatch, a joint Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation programme, has looked at 23 measures of healthcare quality to see how these are affected by deprivation. In every single indicator looked at, care is worse for people experiencing the greatest deprivation.

Researchers used Hospital Episode Statistics, patient survey data, published health statistics and the Index of Multiple Deprivation. Using this data they looked at 23 indicators measuring the quality of NHS care for the 10% of people living in the most deprived areas and the 10% of people living in the least deprived areas of England. From this they constructed an inequality score that is comparable across different performance measures and over time.

The researchers found that for 11 out of the 23 measures, the inequality gap was widening. In general, indicators where the quality of care has got worse over time, the inequality gap between the most and least deprived has widened too.

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