Shift to preventive healthcare 'requires growth in public health grant'
Shift to preventive healthcare 'requires growth in public health grant'
Karl Mc Donald 15 hours Sunday November 4th 2018
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07 November, 2018, 03:46
Mr English added: "Prevention is a win-win both in the obvious impact it has on the health of the population and its cost effectiveness in reducing future demand on NHS services".
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.
His speech will also encourage people to "make better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat to keep them healthier for longer".
Helen Donovan, professional lead for public health at the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Matt Hancock must realise his plans will start at a disadvantage as local authorities struggle with planned cuts to public health budgets of nearly 4% per year until 2021."Disadvantaged areas emerge worse off without these vital services, with life expectancy and the poorest bearing the brunt of underinvestment in public health".
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.
"It's about people choosing to look after themselves better, staying active and stopping smoking".
Hancock also pointed out the United Kingdom is now spending £97bn of public money on treating disease and only £8bn preventing it across the UK.
"You don't have to be an economist to see those numbers don't stack up".
It comes after last week's Budget, when Chancellor Philip Hammond promised an extra £20.5bn for the NHS over the next five years.
He also defended government plans to stockpile medicines, appearing to blame Brussels for the contingency.
The health secretary has refused to be drawn on how much of the extra £20 billion earmarked for the NHS would be spent on preventative measures.
This has prompted Helen Donovan, from the Royal College of Nursing, to warn promises needed to be backed up with serious investments at a local level, while Labour's Jonathan Ashworth says while the plans were "laudable", "unless ministers reverse these cuts and start fully funding public health services, these announcements will be dismissed as a litany of hollow promises".
"We have to back this commitment with real action and properly fund and staff these important services", he urged.
"But Matt Hancock must realise his plans will start at a disadvantage as local authorities struggle with planned cuts to public health budgets of nearly four per cent per year until 2021".
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