chapter  1
Inequalities in health: a social work issue
Pages 13

Physical health is a site of social inequality. Unequal social relations create unequal chances of staying alive, unequal possibilities of health across lifetimes and inequalities in the experience of ill health. Profound, unjust suffering results. Social work in its own right can contribute to changing this situation: to creating greater equality in physical health. Yet this dimension to practice has barely gained recognition within social work, despite its crucial importance for people’s well-being. In this book we examine the devastating impact of social inequalities on physical health, how social work generally – not simply in health care settings – may tackle this, and how such practice can be developed.