Building a Fairer Gwent: The Report

NEWS STORY:  July 21st 2023 

A new report sets out how reducing inequalities can build a fairer Gwent

In areas across Gwent people are not living as long as they should in good health – and Gwent Public Services Board partners are looking to change that.

Building a Fairer Gwent: Improving Health Equity and the Social Determinants – a new report drawn up in partnership between Gwent Public Services Board (PSB) and University College London Institute of Health Equity – aims to narrow the health divide across the region.


Key report findings:

  • The poorest children in Gwent start school 10 months behind those from more affluent families. Inequalities in health and wellbeing that begin at school age are likely to persist and influence health at all ages.
  • Improvements in life expectancy have stalled across large parts of Gwent.
  • There is a 20-year inequality gap in healthy life expectancy for women and a 13 year gap for men. These are among the widest inequality gaps in Wales.
  • In Newport and Blaenau Gwent, populations of those aged 65+ are declining, either due to population decline or falling life expectancy. Healthy life expectancy in Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Torfaen and Caerphilly is also lower than the Welsh average for both women and men.


The Report

Click here for the full report

Click here for the summary report 


Commenting on the report, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of UCL Institute of Health Equity said:

“If ever there were an example for policy makers to take a universal approach, proportionate to need, it is in Gwent. The region has Wales’ most deprived and most affluent local authorities, with long-standing high levels of poverty and deprivation.

“This new report highlights the importance of addressing the social determinants of health to reduce health inequalities across the social gradient. These include giving every child the best start in life, delivering fair employment for all and creating sustainable communities with good quality housing.”


Key priorities to drive change include:

  • Ensuring adequate and equitable pre-school services.
  • Narrowing the educational attainment gap.
  • Providing better access to vocational training and access to education post 16 years.
  • Increasing training and employment opportunities.
  • Poverty proofing services across Gwent.
  • Working to improve housing quality & availability.
  • Ensuring existing services are being provided equitably.


Cllr Sean Morgan, Gwent Public Services Board Chair said: “The release of the Building a Fairer Gwent: Improving Health Equity and the Social Determinants report serves as a wake-up call for Gwent to take collective action in addressing the inequalities and inequities in the social determinants of health. The IHE report shows that we must treat people with equity, recognising that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances.

It is imperative that the Gwent PSB, community leaders, and residents come together to develop and implement comprehensive strategies based on the recommendations that promote equity, improve access to resources, and create a fairer and healthier Gwent for all. By addressing the root causes of these disparities, Gwent can pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous future for its residents.”


Professor Tracy Daszkiewicz, Executive Director of Public Health in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said:  “The fairer Gwent report directs us to take the opportunity to work with our communities, to build on the strengths and find out what communities need to help improve health. It is not OK that people’s health is determined by where they live, and we have a duty to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live all of their lives free of preventable poor health. This landmark report provides us with an imperative to tackle health inequalities and create a fairer society for ALL”.


What happens next?

The next steps will be for Gwent PSB partners to take onboard the recommendations and develop local actions based on the report to deliver across Gwent.

Key Contact

For any queries please email:

Scott Wilson-Evans, Strategic Head of Communications for Population Health and Strategic Communications Advisor to Gwent PSB for Building a Fairer Gwent: