Sir Michael Marmot endorses the role of scrutiny at CfPS annual conference
Focusing on health inequalities, Sir Michael Marmot presented delegates on day 1 of the CfPS Annual Conference on June 12 with some stark statistics about the social determinants of health – notably, the fact that 41% of children have poor early childhood development in the UK, leaving us near the bottom of OECD rankings. But he did say that health inequalities are not immutable or inevitable, saying that scrutiny can challenge and improve the way that individual councils approach this issue.
Speakers, on both days, dwelt on the use, by scrutiny, of data to reach informed judgments. Andrew Garratt from the Royal Statistical Society and Juliet Whitworth from the LGA – explored with delegates the ways they could use data to drive their work forward, including improving statistical literacy amongst both members and officers. Ben Page IPSOS MORI reminded delegates that, of course, good scrutiny requires data, but knowing how to use that data can be a challenge, ensuring that the language used is sufficiently powerful to get its point across fairly but in a way that is easily understood.
A full conference report will be posted shortly.