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Uncovering health inequities

Reducing health inequities in diagnosis and outcomes is a key priority for the NHS, and meaningful information provides the foundation to drive forward action to deliver on local population needs and improve outcomes.

We support clients and the NHS through our leading research & methodology to better understand where inequities exist across different therapy areas in the UK.

We believe that the first step in addressing inequity in health care access is understanding where these inequities exist, providing NHS system leaders with a base knowledge to develop effective strategies to improve access and reduce inequity.

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Breast cancer diagnosis: State of the Nation 2024

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United Kingdom with around 56,000 cases per year and accounting for 11,500 deaths per year1. Modern surgical, systemic and radiotherapy treatments mean that with early diagnosis more women are surviving breast cancer. However, early diagnosis and access to care may differ across the nation due to various social determinants of health.

Achieving earlier diagnosis for all requires a multi-faceted approach which includes in the first instance a need to understand the inequities that exist. Systems need to meaningfully engage underserved communities and utilise a co-design approach to build trust and create services that are truly accessible and simple to access.

Using our expertise in analysing NHS HES data, we have examined whether inequities exist in the initial stage at which breast cancer is diagnosed in women in England, from April 2019 to March 2023.

The data reveals that the majority of initial diagnoses were with early breast cancer, but the data uncovers disparities in the presence or absence of lymph node involvement and de novo metastases at the time of initial diagnosis based on age, deprivation and ethnicity. The intricacies of these inequities can be explored further throughout this report, which is written in a way that Cancer Alliances, Commissioners, ICBs and other service providers can explore inequity in their locality and take learnings from best practice examples.


  1. Accessed May 2024.

View this report using the live link below:

Available downloads