Frances Darlington-Pollock

£15.00  |  $25.00
ISBN 9781788213912
£15.00  |  $25.00
ISBN 9781788213929
168 pages   |  198 x 129mm   |  20 October 2022


"An important and illuminating book that sheds light on two persistent and intractable calamities – our alarmingly low levels of population health and the injustice of inequalities in health. Read this book and feel your outrage, then read it again to focus on what we need to do to create transformative change." – Kate Pickett, Professor of Epidemiology, University of York, and co-author of The Spirit Level

"This conceptually and empirically rich book outlines how health and disease have been unequally experienced across the country both before and during the Coivid-19 pandemic. It argues powerfully that we cannot go back to ‘business as usual’ and should instead harness a new ‘spirit of 45’ to truly build back better and reduce health inequalities." – Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health, Newcastle University

"Fran Pollock sets out the hard truth of how political choices have deprioritized ordinary people’s health and well-being and sets out how we can stand together to oblige leaders to protect us all. Reading her book shocks but also empowers us to act." – Ben Phillips, author of How to Fight Inequality


In the shadow of the pandemic, it has never been more urgent to address the underlying causes of ill-health. Good health is not simply the absence of disease. It is physical, social and mental well-being. It is the product not just of genetics, but nutrition, lifestyle and preventative health interventions. So why is access to the things that make and keep us healthy so unevenly distributed across the population? Frances Darlington-Pollock’s study of ill-health eighty years after the establishment of the NHS underscores just how the determinants of illness are not only social or physiological, but also political. With life expectancy having stalled and even, in some regions, begun to reverse, with infant mortality rates creeping up and a nationwide postcode lottery of health provision, the call is for urgent action to tackle the inequality of health outcomes in the UK today.


1. Introduction: a revolutionary moment
2. Disease: an evolving giant
3. Unequal health and the behemoth of today
4. From cradle ...
5. ... to grave: the problem of age
6. Inequity and inferiority: a dismantled health and social care service
7. Continuing challenges, contemporary crises
8. Shoring up “Assumption B”

Author Information

Frances Darlington-Pollock is a Research Advisor at Save the Children UK, Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York, and Chair of The Equality Trust. Previously, she worked as a lecturer in population and health geography at both the University of Liverpool and Queen Mary University of London.

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