Key Groups

There are life circumstances or characteristics which make people more likely to experience poor health and wellbeing. These factors can be interrelated and may affect income, opportunities for employment or education, social networks and access to services.

Rather than providing the same services, in the same ways, to everyone, thinking about these ‘key groups’ can help in developing targeted, effective support.

Thinking about key groups

Factors which create health inequalities include:

  • homelessness or risk of homelessness
  • caring responsibilities
  • geographic or social isolation
  • not being in education, training or employment
  • claiming out of work benefits or experiencing in-work poverty
  • being a lone parent
  • living in areas of social and economic disadvantage
  • gender-based violence or abuse
  • being a ‘looked after’ young person or care leaver
  • experience of mental health problems
  • substance misuse and addiction issues
Protected characteristics

Public bodies are required under the Equality Act 2010 to ‘advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not’. The needs of all those with protected characteristics – also known as equality groups – must be considered when developing and delivering services. Find out more about equality, diversity and human rights.