Help us diagnose the causes of the UK's health gap 

We’ve just launched a new collaborative project to explore health inequalities in the UK and we'd love for all of you to be part of it. We will be taking the time to investigate the systems, policies and practices that result in a lack of health equity. We'll be going beneath the surface to explore the infrastructure gaps, systematic obstacles and power disparities that make access to healthcare unequal. Some examples of this include:

  • “Postcode lotteries” leading to regional differences in diagnosis, treatment, care or funding

  • People avoiding the medical system because of stigma, fear, or lack of information and accessibility

  • Decisions that fail to benefit everyone because of austerity, profit-making and institutional biases

We want to hear from lots of different people and build a network of collaborators, including people and communities affected by health inequalities across the UK. We’re doing this to tell stories that get to the heart of these inequalities, creatively but authentically, and find ways to use them to make a positive, real-world impact. Read all about the project in our latest blog post.

Join the project

👉 Sign up to the project mailing list to get updates on the work, share your own investigation ideas and get involved. Here’s what we have coming up:

  • Power mapping workshop - 14 December, 1-2.15pm. For our investigations to have the most impact, it is important that we identify the decision makers, change makers and regional influences in this space. On 14 December, we are facilitating a virtual power mapping workshop to help us establish the stakeholders that contribute to the state of public health. 
  • Health Inequality Laboratory - tbd, January 2021. At Bureau Local, we value the expertise we gain from those working in the industries we report on as well as people with lived experience. This laboratory is a way for us to consult and collaborate with professionals and individuals who believe in health equity as strongly as we do. This is a more involved role which will mean taking part in several workshops with us to debate and develop investigative ideas. More information on this will be coming in January.

Meet the health team 

Hey, my name’s Vicky. I’m a newbie with Bureau Local having joined the team in November and am based in the Black Country. I’ve always cared about physical and emotional health because of it being something I was very aware of in others and myself growing up. As my understanding of ‘how to be healthy’ grew, it became something I valued in my life, but I also recognised the privileges I have which have made my health experiences and access relatively easy in comparison to others in my family, for instance. Now I’m evaluating health within an ecosystem and am excited by how our work could lead to overdue reforms, and help reframe how decision makers and the public understand health inequality.

Hi, I’m Rachel. I’ve been with Bureau Local for a while now, as a community organiser, where I’ve worked on projects like our Story Circles looking at routes out of homelessness and our Change the Story project, looking at collectively reimagining the future of local news in the UK. Previously I’ve been a journalist for a couple of decades (!). I was one of the founders of Scottish investigative platform The Ferret and I’m based in Edinburgh. I’m excited to now be leading the new health inequality project, and I know it’s going to be a really tough job to choose a focus. I’m particularly interested in stigma and bias in health, but there are so many important topics to cover, and that’s why we really want you to get involved in helping us decide what to look at and how.


Hi, I’m Emiliano and I’m the Bureau Local’s new community organiser based in Portsmouth. I’ve done a number of jobs over the years, from teacher to journalist to trade union organiser and comms officer. Throughout that time I’ve come face to face with the socioeconomic determinants of poor health on a number of occasions, but never so acutely as when I was campaigning with outsourced migrant workers. Many of these workers were plagued by chronic health conditions which were in part caused by their jobs, but because they were denied basic rights, they would often not take sick days or seek medical help. I look forward to helping build a community that will investigate and challenge the structures that allow injustices such as these to persist in our society. 


My name is Charles and I’m the data lead at the Bureau. I believe in making data accessible so that people have the evidence they need to drive change. The unfair reality is that in many cases, being healthy has less to do our individual behaviours and more to do with the system and environment around us. Despite this, the responsibility is often dumped on the individual with little thought given to the social determinants at play. I want to work with all of you to look at the ways in which health inequality manifests itself and make them more transparent.

👉 Join the project!

Updates from our other beats

Local power:

👉 Play back our online Open Newsroom titled “What goes on behind closed doors at our councils?

👉 Help make our councils more open by signing up to our local council transparency project


👉 Play back our online Open Newsroom titled “Is Work Working?” This is also the focus of our latest jobs investigation, in partnership with The Daily Mirror

👉 Share a story or an idea and get paid to develop it into an investigation into insecure work by signing up to the project.

Don't forget your Bureau Local perks...

While this newsletter is sent out periodically, our day-to-day communication with each other happens on Slack - our online platform. Please join us! Here are a few great resources we offer on a regular basis:

  • DailyEvery morning at 10am we share the latest local data released by the government in the #data_feed channel. Join our #localpower, #health_inequality or #jobs channels to collaborate on investigations in those areas.
  • WeeklyFridays (1-2pm), we hold a Story Clinic in the #newsroom channel. This is a space where you can share stories or ideas you’re working on, maybe get some help or advice and definitely meet like-minded people who care about public-interest journalism. 
  • Monthly: We host an Open Newsroom discussion (on a new topic each month) via video.

The Bureau Local has been working to ‘Change the Story’ of our news industry and shape the future of the Bureau Local along the way. This has culminated in a series of resources which will be guiding our work and we hope will be useful to you all as well.

Get in touch

Know about something we should dig into? Get in touch!

PGP: Public key here
Twitter: @bureaulocal 
Slack: #newsroom 

The Bureau Local team

About us

The Bureau Local has been set up by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and is a people-powered network setting the news agenda and sparking change, from the ground up. 

We're made up of reporters, data experts, community activists, open data champions and more, who are passionate about local journalism and the role it should play in holding power to account.

This newsletter gets sent out periodically. For day-to-day communication with the network, make sure you are on Slack - our network platform.
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