The UK Conservative party launches its public health strategy

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 4 May 2010




(2010), "The UK Conservative party launches its public health strategy", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 23 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The UK Conservative party launches its public health strategy

Article Type: News and views From: Leadership in Health Services, Volume 23, Issue 2

Edited by Jo Lamb-White

Keywords: Public healthcare, Evidence based healthcare, Devolved healthcare management

Speaking at 2020 Health’s inaugural public health address, the Conservative Party’s shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley, launched the green paper”, A Healthier Nation”, his party’s strategy for public heath.

Mr Lansley said that to tackle the challenge and provide the change required, the Conservatives’ approach to public health will focus on:

  • ensuring the responsibility for improving public health, and the budget to do so, is as decentralised as far as possible away from central government control and out to local communities;

  • rewarding councils, communities and independent providers for reducing public health problems; and

  • leading national public health policy where necessary, e.g. immunisation. National campaigns should be evidence-based and linked to advances in social psychology and behavioural economics.

Bryan Stoten, chair of the NHS Confederation, said:

The NHS Confederation supports the increased emphasis on public health announced by the Conservatives today which reflects a more active strategy on public behaviour and attitudes.

Encouraging people to make healthier lifestyle choices plays a crucial role in tackling the increased costs to the health system and the financial challenges it faces in the coming years.

An increased focus on greater partnership working and joined up national and local priorities would help create a more integrated system of health, social and education services.

Today’s proposals are a step in the right direction but will take time to bed in. We have seen the successful outcomes of the prolonged campaign to reduce the numbers of people smoking but we must remember this has taken decades to achieve.

Any proposed payment by results system for similar improvements will need to be considered in greater detail and on a long-term basis as behavioural change will not be immediate.

An effective public health strategy should also include a positive approach to adolescent nutrition, using evidence-based systems which offer parents support to help bring about improvements in the diet and lifestyle of our future generations.

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