< Back to News

Lord Adebowale Named Chair of Midlands Health Inequalities Commission

In response to the wide-reaching impact of the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating underlying health inequalities within communities, Midlands Innovation Health (MI Health) is leading a new Policy Commission addressing these critical challenges in the Midlands.

Lord Victor Adebowale CBE has been appointed as the Chair of the Midlands Health Inequalities Policy Commission which will focus upon tackling the indirect and long-term impacts of COVID-19, specifically where they are compounded by deprivation and ethnic health over the life course of the Midlands population.

Lord Adebowale said: “This Policy Commission will help us to really understand the reality that communities and individuals are now facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been well documented that lower income families and ethnic minorities have suffered more during the pandemic; it is only right that we look closer to identify the reasons why, to make steps to minimise the factors which contribute to these inequalities.

“I’m really pleased to be supporting MI Health and the wider group of Commissioners on this important health inequalities initiative which has the power to transform the long-term future for many people.”

Professor Kamlesh Khunti from University of Leicester is the Scientific Lead of the Commission, which is expected to publish its findings in spring 2022.

“It’s vital that we fully understand the complex impacts of the pandemic on our communities within the Midlands so we can make recommendations to minimise the disparity in access and outcomes that exist within health systems,” Professor Khunti explained.

He continued: “On behalf of MI Health, I want to welcome Lord Victor Adebowale as Chair and I look forward to working with him and our group of expert Commissioners to tackle health inequalities in the Midlands.”

Dr Helen Turner, Director for Midlands Innovation also commented. “This Policy Commission will contribute to the breadth of work our partners have already published since COVID-19. I’m confident this Commission will enable key stakeholders and government to better understand the longer-term consequences of the pandemic, the demonstrator role the Midlands can play in tackling these issues, and how improved health will ensure that we can deliver the levelling-up agenda in the Midlands.”

Rachael Greenwood, Midlands Engine Executive Director and Chair of Midlands Engine Health, also commented: "The Midlands Engine has an international reputation for inclusive clinical research excellence and world-leading academic ethnic and mental health expertise.

“Our strengths in this field continue to drive inclusive investigation into healthcare issues, showcased by the response to the pandemic; including partners in the Midlands being the first to highlight the relationship between ethnicity and COVID-19 clinical outcomes.”