Inequality hurts all of us. The pain is greater for those at the bottom of whatever social hierarchy they sit in, but it matters for us all.
I believe we can change that.
Through my career, I have tried to be part of that change in different ways. After completing my PhD in 2015, I became a lecturer researching inequalities in health alongside wider inequalities in social and economic outcomes. Through that work I have seen the importance of the interactions between people, place and politics as a driver of inequality, and as a point of intervention. In September 2021, I moved into the development sector taking up a position as a research advisor for an INGO. I worked to bring about meaningful research partnerships that can improve programming to support those facing inequality and discrimination; strengthen engagement with research opportunities; and build capacity within the sector. From November 2022, I will take on a new challenge, heading up a charity based in Manchester working to end homelessness. Alongside my day job, I sit on the Board of a charity (first as trustee, and now as Chair) who work to combat structural inequality and improve the quality of life for everyone in the UK.
Latest News: New book now published!
Disease – Agenda Publishing as part of the ‘Giants: A New Beveridge Report’.
In 1942 life expectancy at birth was 66 for women and 60 for men. Death was usually due to degenerative and infectious diseases. The greatest postwar success in the fight against disease was the establishment of the NHS and care that was free at the point of delivery. Life expectancy rose dramatically, but since 2011 incremental improvements have stalled and even, in some regions, begun to reverse. Infant mortality rates have crept up and the postcode lottery of health provision underscores the level of social inequality in the UK.
Good health is not simply the absence of disease. It is the collective of physical, social and mental well-being. It is the product of nutrition and genetics, of healthy lifestyles and preventative health interventions. It is the interaction between the conditions in which we live, work, play and age. Yet access to many of the things that make and keep us healthy are not evenly distributed in the population. Achieving good health is then deeply entwined with all aspects of society and cannot simply be solved by policies in one area alone.
In our rediscovery of Beveridge, the shadow of the pandemic looms large. It is has never been more urgent to address the underlying causes of Disease. And it has never been clearer that these determinants are not only social or physiological, but also political.
Media: Fran has commented on inequality in the UK across multiple media outlets, including the BBC, TalkRadio, Smooth FM, Heart NW, and LBC. Fran has also appeared on LBC’s Cross Question as a panellist.
Additional information: I am currently a Visiting Research Fellow in Department of Health Sciences, University of York, and Chair of The Equality Trust. I have held elected roles for the Population Geography Research Group with the Royal Geographical Society and Institute of British Geographers (2014-2022) and as a council member for the British Society for Population Studies (2017-2021). I have also sat on a number of advisory boards and committees including the ONS 2021 Census Microdata Working Group, and the UK Data Service Advisory Committee.
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.