10 July 2023

We’ve updated our information on health inequalities, providing guidance on the topic and resources to help you in your practice. 

Supporting speech and language therapists to tackle health inequalities is an integral part of the RCSLT’s commitment to ensure that the speech and language profession is providing equitable services and meeting the needs of all the populations we serve. 

Health inequalities can involve multiple factors with some groups of people being more vulnerable to their effects than others. They can involve differences in: 

  • life expectancy 
  • healthy life expectancy 
  • avoidable mortality 
  • long-term health conditions 
  • prevalence of mental-ill health 
  • access to and quality of health services 
  • behavioural risk factors (e.g. smoking, poor diet) 
  • wider determinants of health (e.g. income, housing, education, transport, work and environment). 

Our guidance looks at these issues in detail including what leads to health inequalities and how speech and language therapy can be used to mitigate against them. In addition to this guidance, we’ve also updated or created new tools to help you in your practice.

Our revised self-audit tool will help you and your team to evaluate your current practices and identify any areas which may need further work. You can also try our new indicator worksheet to help you compare data about your general population or community and data about who you see in your service and see if there are differences.  We’ve also provided good practice examples in the form of case studies, showing how an awareness of health inequalities can be used practically to shape the way we support service users.  

Read all of our updated health inequalities information or access more information about our approach to diversity, inclusion and anti-racism.