Health Inequalities


Health inequalities

The Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee has agreed to hold an inquiry into health inequalities in Scotland. In order to help it shape the terms of reference for the inquiry, the Committee has agreed a preliminary scoping period, during which it will hold evidence sessions with academics and Scottish Government officials, and a stakeholder conference at the Scottish Parliament on Monday 18 February 2013. This participative event will allow the Committee to hear a wide range of views that will inform its decisions on the scope and form of the full inquiry.

The event was held on Monday 18 February at the Scottish Parliament.

The Committee conducted an oral evidence session on 22 January with Derek Feeley (Director General Health and Social Care) and Sir Harry Burns (Chief Medical Officer) from the Scottish Government.

The Committee conducted an oral evidence session on 5 February with representatives from the following organisations:

On Friday 21 June, as part of Parliament Day, the Committee visited Hillview Community Centre to hear about Cultenhove Opportunities Partnership, a social enterprise which is working to improve residents’ self-esteem and confidence.

The Committee then visited Stirling Community Hospital where they watched pupils from Cowie Primary School perform a drama and dance presentation as part of the Max in the Middle initiative to promote healthy eating and physical activity. MSPs also heard about Town Break Stirling, a project supporting people with dementia.

In the afternoon the Committee held a formal meeting in Stirling Council’s city chambers, where they took evidence from senior officials from the following organisations:

At its meetings on Tuesday 25 March and 1 April the Committee held evidence sessions on Access to Services to examine the relationship between access to primary care health services and inequality.

25 March

1 April 

The Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee agreed to begin a new phase of its themed work on health inequalities by holding a short inquiry on early years. 

The Committee has also agreed to publish a call for written evidence.

The Committee has received written submissions in relation to early years.

On 6 May 2014, the Committee took evidence from the Scottish Government on the Early Years Collaborative.

At its meeting on 13 May 2014 the Committee took evidence from Sir Harry Burns and Professor Michael Marmot as well as the following organisations:

  • Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland
  • ScotCen Social Research
  • University of Aberdeen
  • WAVE Trust
  • Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow
  • The Centre for Confidence and Well-being
  • Global Public Health Unit, University of Edinburgh
  • Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy, University of Edinburgh
  • Written Submissions (1693KB pdf)

On 2 December 2014, the Committee took evidence from BMA Scotland, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the Homeless Health services, GPs at the Deep End, the Royal college of Paediatrics and Child Health Scotland and the Royal College of Nursing Scotland.

On 9 December 2014, the Committee took evidence from the Minister for Public Health and the Minister for Children and Young People. 

On 18 December, the Committee received further information from the Ministers.


The Committee has published its Report on Health Inequalities.

On 23 March, the Committee received a response from the Scottish Government.

On 13 May, the Committee received a further response from the Scottish Government.

Chamber Debate

A Committee Debate on Health Inequalities was held in the Chamber on 26 March 2015.

Watch the Convener's speech (below).


Bryan McConachie
Committee Assistant
Health and Sport Committee

Tel: (0131) 348 5224



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