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Health equity audit: A self-assessment tool

Health equity audits examine whether resources are distributed fairly, relative to the health needs of different groups.  They systematically review health inequities and access to services for particular groups or areas to

  • ensure actions to address health inequities are incorporated in planning decisions;
  • prioritize actions to address health inequities; and
  • evaluate the impact of actions on reducing inequities.

The UK Department of Public Health developed this tool and collection of resources to support the health equity audit processes of the National Health Services (NHS), local authorities, and strategic partner organizations in the United Kingdom.

This tool supports the assessment of the six main stages of a health equity audit cycle:

  • Agree on partners and issues
  • Create an equity profile; identify the gap
  • Agree on high-impact local action to narrow the gap
  • Agree on priorities for action
  • Secure changes in investment and service delivery
  • Review the progress and assess the impact

The tool directs users to a number of resources that support a health equity audit.

A description and assessment of this tool is also available, in English and French, in the National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools’ (CCMT) online registry: http://www.nccmt.ca/registry/view/eng/128.html.

Use these resources to

  • systematically incorporate health equity into policy and program planning
  • ensure that resources are directed towards reducing health inequities
  • initiate projects with local stakeholders to improve health outcomes for disadvantaged communities


The Department of Health, United Kingdom. (2004). Health equity audit: A self-assessment tool. UK Government Web Archive.  Retrieved from http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20130107105354/http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4070715

Tags: Healthy public policy, Knowledge translation , Methods & tools, Link

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