Letters

Labour's “Black report” moment?

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7516.575 (Published 08 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:575
  1. Mary Shaw, reader in medical sociology,
  2. Danny Dorling, professor of human geography,
  3. Richard Mitchell, associate director,
  4. George Davey Smith, professor of clinical epidemiology (George.Davey-Smith@bristol.ac.uk)
  1. Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 2PR
  2. Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN
  3. Research Unit in Health, Behaviour and Change, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh EH8 9AG
  4. Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol

    EDITOR—The release of the government's latest report on health inequalities on 11 August was curious.1 2 Reminiscent of the covert release of the Black report on August bank holiday in 1980, the report appeared when the minister for public health was on holiday and her deputy unavailable.

    Personal trainers

    In July 2003 the government stated that there would be an annual report from the Department of Health on health inequality indicators related to the health inequality targets. Nothing appeared for more than two years, although the data that were eventually released had been available for some time,3 and when they did appear it was, conveniently, after the election. Even stranger, the press release for the latest report deflected attention from the key finding of widening inequalities in life expectancy and infant mortality by headlining the 12 “early adopter sites” with their “health trainers.”4 The minister said, “Many people have difficulty in changing to …

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