UNISON today welcomed Audit Scotland’s focus on health inequalities and the need for more preventative services but warned that action must include addressing wider issues such as in-work poverty.
Dave Watson, Head of Bargaining and Campaigns, said: “We are pleased that Audit Scotland has identified the importance of more preventative services and healthcare focused in areas of high deprivation.
“But, of course, rising living costs and falling incomes are having a huge impact on families just now, with large numbers of people in work struggling financially. They need a living wage. Poverty is a major factor in the deep-seated health inequalities in Scotland.
“However much we want Community Planning Partnerships to ensure health boards, councils and others work together on this, that can only go so far in making a difference if we don’t also address some of the root causes by building a more equal society. At present, the policies of ‘austerity’ are doing the opposite.”