As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched its vision for ‘prevention being better than cure’, which fits with the STP’s vision of helping people to stay well for longer. The DHSC’s ‘vision’ will be followed up by a Green Paper in 2019.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock wants people to have five more years of healthy, independent life by 2035. To achieve this, people will be encouraged to take more responsibility for their own health. The vision also argues for a shift towards primary and community care services, to look at the early support they can offer people in preventing poor health.
In a speech to the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, Mr Hancock detailed his ambition to help people make healthier choices. He said:
In the UK, we are 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’s about people choosing to look after themselves better, staying active and stopping smoking. Making better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat.
He also said:
The plan is not about penalising people. It’s about helping them make better choices, giving them all the support we can, because we know taking the tough decisions is never easy.
The vision also includes ambitions to:
- halve childhood obesity by 2030
- reduce loneliness by making “social prescribing” – when doctors or nurses prescribe community activities – more widespread
- diagnosing 75% of cancers at stages one and two by 2028
- use technology to predict patients’ illnesses and target advice at sections of the population
Read the speech:
Read the vision: