Research report

Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery

July 2021
Research report

A comprehensive review of the factors that affected the UK’s devastating COVID-19 death toll.

In October 2020, the Health Foundation launched a time-limited UK-wide inquiry to consider:

  • how people’s experience of the pandemic was influenced by their health and existing inequalities
  • the likely impact of actions taken in response to the pandemic on people’s health and health inequalities – now and in the future.

A healthy population is one of any nation’s most important assets. Good health supports positive social and economic outcomes – both for the individual and society as a whole.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were already signs that the health of the people in the UK was falling behind comparable countries:

  • Our report on Mortality and life expectancy trends in the UK showed that the UK has a lower life expectancy and slower improvements in life expectancy than comparable high-income countries.
  • The Marmot Review 10 Years On, published in February 2020, highlighted that not enough progress has been made over the past decade to address unjust and avoidable differences in people’s health and wellbeing.

The pandemic and the wider governmental and societal response have further exposed the inequalities in our society.

On Tuesday 6 July we published our report, Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery.

What did the inquiry do?

The inquiry gathered evidence from a wide range of sources to consider how experiences of the pandemic were influenced by people’s existing health conditions and inequalities in health. This highlighted implications for government decision making in recovery from the pandemic and the investment needed to ensure everyone can enjoy the same opportunity for good health and wellbeing. The inquiry was carried out by an in-house secretariat at the Health Foundation, guided by an expert advisory panel.

Sign up for updates

If you’d like us to stay in touch about our COVID-19 impact inquiry and our ongoing work, please sign up to receive updates. If you have any questions about the inquiry, please contact COVID-19impactinquiry@health.org.uk.

The COVID-19 impact inquiry report

Research report

Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery

July 2021
Research report

A comprehensive review of the factors that affected the UK’s devastating COVID-19 death toll.

Event

Webinar: A healthy recovery – Acting on findings from the COVID-19 impact inquiry

Event

In this webinar, our panel discussed how to understand and act upon the findings on the Health...

Press release

Inquiry finds working age adults in poorest areas almost four times more likely to die from COVID-19

6 July 2021
Press release

The Health Foundation calls on Government to learn the lessons from the financial crisis and invest...

Blogs

Blog

An investment in people is an investment in health

6 July 2021
Blog

The COVID-19 impact inquiry shows the extent of the pandemic’s unequal repercussions, writes Jo...

Blog

How are generation COVID-19 experiencing the pandemic?

27 May 2021
Blog

The COVID-19 impact inquiry team round up emerging evidence of how the pandemic has affected young...

Blog

The unequal mental health toll of the pandemic

28 April 2021
Blog

The pandemic has taught us the importance of putting lived experience expertise at the heart of...

Blog

Gender divide: a post-COVID recovery must address pandemic inequalities

7 April 2021
Blog

Mehrunisha Suleman outlines the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women, and what must be done...

Blog

What might long COVID mean for the nation’s health?

1 April 2021
Blog

The COVID-19 impact inquiry team summarise emerging evidence on the effects of long COVID for...

Blog

1 year on since lockdown began – our lives have changed but what lessons have we learned?

23 March 2021
Blog

Jo Bibby takes stock of the past year of the pandemic, reflecting on how our recovery must draw on...

Blog

Emerging evidence on health inequalities and COVID-19: March 2021

8 March 2021
Blog

The COVID-19 impact inquiry team look at emerging evidence of the pandemic's impact on women and key...

Blog

Wales must not be an afterthought when fighting COVID-19

2 March 2021
Blog

Proportionally, Wales has recorded some of the UK's highest coronavirus death rates. Auriol Miller,...

Blog

The forgotten crisis: exploring the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on disabled people

21 February 2021
Blog

What has the COVID-19 pandemic meant for disabled people, and how can we build back fairer? Liz...

Blog

Mental health and wellbeing for people receiving persistently lower pay during the pandemic

3 February 2021
Blog

Persistent decreases in pay can affect people’s long-term mental health and wellbeing, writes Alex...

Blog

Paying for the pandemic: the economic consequences of COVID-19

15 January 2021
Blog

Matt Whittaker, expert advisor for our COVID-19 impact inquiry, looks at emerging evidence of the...

Newsletter feature

What can COVID-19 teach us about how to rebuild a more equal society?

25 November 2020
Newsletter feature

Fozia Irfan, an expert advisor for our COVID-19 impact inquiry, on how the pandemic is both exposing...

Infographics

Infographic

Fairer foundations: How has the pandemic affected young people’s mental health?

Infographic

This infographic highlights the unequal mental health effects of the pandemic among young...

Infographic

What does the pandemic mean for health and health inequalities?

Infographic

This infographic highlights areas of focus for the COVID-19 impact inquiry and some of the questions...

Infographic

The same pandemic, unequal impacts

Infographic

This infographic explores how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting some groups in the UK more than...

Press releases

Press release

Continuing to deepen understanding of long COVID and its unequal impact is crucial to protect the nation’s health

4 June 2021
Press release

COVID-19 impact inquiry response to latest ONS data on long COVID.

Press release

Further indication that young people have been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic's economic fallout

11 May 2021
Press release

Jo Bibby, Director of Health, responds to ONS statistics on young people and employment.

Press release

Latest data highlights a growing mental health crisis in the UK

5 May 2021
Press release

Jo Bibby, Director of Health at the Health Foundation, responds to the latest ONS data release on...

Press release

Young people must be given the support that they need to avoid second health crisis later in life

24 February 2021
Press release

Health Foundation response to additional government funding for summer schools.

Press release

6 out of 10 people who have died from COVID-19 are disabled

11 February 2021
Press release

Health Foundation response to Office for National Statistics data on COVID-19 related deaths by...

Press release

COVID-19 – now is the time to redraw the UK’s map of inequality

5 October 2020
Press release

We're launching a UK-wide inquiry, warning of rising health inequalities due to the COVID-19...

Videos

Video

Watch: Experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic

Video

Three people from across the UK share their experiences of the pandemic

External link

RCP Player: Let's talk about... the COVID-19 impact inquiry

External link

Dame Clare Moriarty and Dr Mehrunisha Suleman introduce the COVID-19 impact inquiry and share some...

Video

Watch: Why do we need the COVID-19 impact inquiry?

Video

Members of our expert advisory panel for the COVID-19 impact inquiry share why they think this work...

Event

Launch event: COVID-19 impact inquiry

Event

The Health Foundation has launched the COVID-19 impact inquiry, a UK-wide inquiry exploring the...

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