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New “Pacesetters” projects to reduce health inequalities

Eighteen new projects will have access to a £5.5m pot to come upwith innovative new ways of helping people from marginalisedcommunities cope with diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease, careservices minister Phil Hope announced today (Wednesday 19 November2008).

The projects form the second wave of "Pacesetters" – ascheme set up in 2007 to improve the health and wellbeing of people indeprived areas. The new Pacesetters are free to come up with innovativeideas but must focus on specific serious conditions.

The firstwave of the Pacesetters programme has already been successful intackling health inequalities from marginalised communities.

Successfulprojects in wave one include: designing services for deaf communitiesthrough the first British Sign Language care plans; increasingbreast-screening rates for women with learning disabilities in Walsall;and improving experiences for people with learning disabilities stayingin hospital.

Pacesetter trusts in wave one of the programmeworked on testing new ways to improve access to services for vulnerablecommunities. The second wave of the programme focuses on making animpact for families affected by diabetes, cancer and cardiovasculardisease.

Mr Hope said: "Pacesetters is a groundbreaking project,which tackles health inequalities in marginalised communities. Withthis phase, our aim is to help families affected by serious diseases."

Thenext wave of Pacesetters projects will provide further case studies andevidence to help other trusts tackle health inequalities in their areas.