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BMA calls for ‘tougher action’ on preventable ill health

07 November 2018

But he will say the strategy is "not about penalising people".

"We need to move from a system that detects and treats illnesses to one that also predicts and prevents poor health through promoting health in all policies and puts people back in charge of their own health".

Department of Health and Social Care has launched a vision document, "Prevention is better than cure", outlining the government's approach to prevention, with a marked shift in focus to primary and community care.

Mr Hancock said in a speech at the International Association of National Public Health Institutes: "Prevention is also about ensuring people take greater responsibility for managing their own health".

"Community pharmacies are ideally placed to help people to stay healthy and avoid visits to hospital - and look forward to working with the government to make this shared vision a reality".

Mr. Hancock insists it is not about "patronising" patients, "It's about helping them make better choices, giving them the all the support we can, because we know taking the tough decisions is never easy".

Overall, the focus is on changing lifestyle habits like diet, exercise and sleep, taking action on mental health, and gearing up the NHS to pick up health issues and provide care sooner - for example it wants three quarters of cancers to be diagnosed at earlier stages (I or II) by 2028.

The latest NHS strategy comes just days after the Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged £20.5bn to fund the health service over the next five years.

Arron Banks under pressure to explain Brexit funds
It also said that the loan arrangements may have involved an offshore company, Rock Holdings, in breach of electoral law. The Electoral Commission said Leave.EU "did not report spending on or donations from Eldon".

The Health Secretary said that the United Kingdom needs a culture change around employees taking sick leave.

Public Health England is looking at "harnessing digital technology" as a form of "predictive prevention", potentially leading to targeted health advice for people based on their their location and lifestyle.

Unveiling the policy paper at the annual meeting of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes on 5 November, Hancock said: "In the United Kingdom, we are spending £97bn of public money on treating disease and only £8bn preventing it".

"You don't have to be an economist to see those numbers don't stack up".

The measure is part of a new government plan unveiled by the health secretary to encourage employers to "help improve the health of staff and the nation".

"This announcement represents an opportunity to address and reverse the damage that cuts to both health and local government budgets have caused to prevention services", he said.

Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth said while the plans are "laudable", they follow "years of cuts and failed privatisation".

BMA calls for ‘tougher action’ on preventable ill health