Student Fairhealth is a collaboration aiming to raise awareness of health inequity among healthcare students.

We are a Yorkshire-based team, established in May 2020, by medical students, GP trainees and university academics. Through our work, we aim to inform healthcare students about health inequity, inspire the future healthcare workforce to advocate for fair health, and involve students in discussions around health equity.

Rachel Crothers

Hi there, I’m a 4th year medical student at the University of Sheffield. My passion for health equity began during my migrant health placement with the Deep End Yorkshire & Humber. I’ve been delighted to connect with enthusiastic colleagues to develop Student Fairhealth – I hope we can encourage other students to become advocates.

I recommend this webinar with two incredibly inspiring professors, for an overview of health inequities in the UK today:

Sally-Anne Van Der Linden

Hi I’m Sally-Anne and I’m a third year medical student from Sheffield, currently intercalating at UCL studying Medical Anthropology.

My interest in health inequalities first began last year when I chose to spend time at a Deep End practice for my SSC and took part in the Live Well Outreach programme in Barnsley teaching children how to look after their body and mind. I found myself both outraged by the challenges and inequalities faced by people in accessing the care they need, and inspired by the incredible healthcare staff and community workers who were committed to providing fairer health. When Dr Hilary Graffy and Rachel Crothers approached me to set up a group for students wanting to learn more about health inequity I jumped at the opportunity and I am so proud that we have now managed to find a brilliant, enthusiastic team to join us!

The Fairhealth website was a great resource when I was first trying to find out more about health inequality, particularly this podcast covering the importance of patient advocacy : 

Florence Kinder

Hello! I’m Florence, a 4th year medical student at Leeds. Throughout my time at medical school, I have been fortunate to have had valuable opportunity to learn more about Inclusion Healthcare and work with some of our most marginalised groups of patients.  

I am passionate to make these opportunities a standard part of our curriculum and ensure every future doctor understands the importance of promoting health equity, advocating for our patients, and making our care welcoming and accessible to those who need it most.  

Dr Gemma Ashwell 

I work as a GP at Bevan Healthcare in Bradford. It’s an inclusion health practice, meaning that the majority of our patients are people in the UK as refugees or asylum seekers, people who are experiencing homelessness or unstable housing and women involved in prostitution. 

This work has opened my eyes to the extent of unfair and preventable differences in people’s health due to their race, economic status, housing, conditions of work etc. I hope that through this work and my other roles, as a GP trainer, lecturer at Leeds Medical School, trustee of Fairhealth and volunteer with Medact that I can do a bit to raise awareness of the extent of health inequity and contribute something to making a fairer and more equitable society. 

If I could recommend just two resources they would be:

The book ‘The Spirit Level’ by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

The film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ directed by Ken Loach

Dr Katy Owen

Hello, I am a GP trainee and a clinical teacher at Sheffield Medical School. I’m naturally interested in health inequalities, in part due to my own background. I come from a state primary and secondary school in a deprived area of Nottingham and I am passionate about identifying and combating health inequality.

My particular interest is homeless health in the UK, as this issue is many layered and hugely complex (particularly in the current political climate). Every person without a secure roof over their head has a different story to tell and their own unique difficulties in accessing healthcare. 

The best learning resource I can suggest is actually taking part in volunteering for different organisations which battle health inequality. Reading will only get you so far, but getting out there and making a difference is a hugely valuable learning experience.

Dr David M. Smith

Ey Up, I’m Dave and I’m an academic GP trainee from Yorkshire. I am honoured to be able to support Student Fairhealth as part of my Health Education England Future Leaders Fellowship.

I am a keen supporter of social justice and a firm trade unionist, working with the British Medical Association to deliver improvements to the UK healthcare system. I come from an area in South Leeds of high deprivation and as such, I know the value that an effective social support system can have & the difficulties that patients can experience when they have issues with accessing the support they need.

I believe that we need large scale reform to our benefit and social care systems. I think that lobbying for this change is a role in which students are incredibly valuable.

If I had to suggest a resource to help anyone understand the issues of Health Inequalities in the UK I would suggest Professor Sir Micheal Marmot’s RCGP Keynote speech from 2019: