Trusts said national bodies such as NHS England and NHS Improvement and OHID could best support them by helping them to understand the available data on the impact health inequalities have on their populations. Most trusts identified drawing on robust data as a key enabler for progress, but not all feel they have access to the right data needed to identify gaps and key insights, and did not know how best to use data to inform and facilitate their response. The national health inequalities improvement dashboard has been described by trusts as a helpful starting point, alongside other national data sources, and they are keen to see this continue to be developed.

We need robust data by geographical area so that resources can be directed to the neediest of issues or communities.

Acute trust, London    Non-Executive Director

Giving access to data and analysis of that data, with presentation of it in an easy to digest form so the priority areas really stand out.

Acute trust, North East and Yorkshire    Non-Executive Director

Better collation and presentation of data and more longer-term focus on seeing outcome measures from work to address inequalities.

Acute trust, Midlands    Chief Executive

Trust leaders also reference support from the national bodies to enable the sharing of best practice and the need for more guidance and benchmarking. In particular, NEDs are keen to see a greater level of support to better understand their role in addressing health inequalities and how they can support their boards to prioritise this.

Best practice guidance including info on how NEDs can best contribute to this agenda.

Mental health and learning disability trust, South West    Non-Executive Director

Share evidence, guidance, best practice, and hold us to account for determining issues and planning to address them, and then actually doing so.

Acute specialist trust, Midlands    Non-Executive Director

Others highlighted the need for investment in the NHS workforce to prioritise this work, and funding for evidence-based research so they are able to embed proven interventions into their work. Other trusts called for more support in implementing best practice methods of engaging with key groups.

Investment in workforce to support this priority, funding to enable evidence based research and funding for trust to embed proven improvements.

Acute trust, East of England    Non-Executive Director

While trusts acknowledge their role in rising to the challenge of improving health inequalities, some trust leaders have highlighted a need for national leaders to recognise the broader context they are operating within, including challenges across the wider determinants of health, and operational and funding constraints.

Ensure the funding is there to really deliver on this agenda. All be consistent with priorities and not conflicting.

Community trust, North West    Non-Executive Director