Duncan Selbie’s Friday message – 14 September 2018

Dear everybody

This week over 1600 public health colleagues gathered at Warwick University for the PHE annual convention. This was our greatest and largest convention and I thank all those that attended on your daring discussions, good displays and for the numerous alternatives to study from one another. My thanks additionally to those that organised the convention and labored over many months to make it such a easy and seamless occasion.

It has been a difficult, busy and quick paced yr and as our Minister for Public Health and Primary Care Steve Brine MP put it, public health professionals have repeatedly sprung into motion to guard and save lives and livelihoods. As all the time the convention, which was our sixth, was a time for reflection on all of the work now we have performed and anticipation of that which we’ll do. One manner of reflecting on the previous six years is to take a look at the previous six days. In that point now we have launched our refreshed Heart Age Test, confirmed two circumstances of monkey pox within the UK, a primary for the UK, continued our work on the response to the novichok poisonings, revealed our newest Health Profile for England, launched a brand new alcohol marketing campaign, and introduced the brand new flu vaccine. All of this has been debated within the media, mentioned on tv screens, shared broadly on social media and stuffed the columns of newspapers. Most importantly, it has reached individuals and that’s the crux of all the things. As the health sector works away on the brand new long run plan for the NHS, it is necessary that we’re poised with the very best data and clear priorities – in our case to embed prevention on the coronary heart of the plan, so we are able to make the largest distinction.

Our Health Profile for England offers us that data. The new report tells us that persons are dwelling longer and are more healthy at all ages group, which is undeniably excellent news. However, it additionally tells us, amongst many issues, that the poor are experiencing the health that the rich enjoyed twenty years in the past, that our ageing inhabitants means the variety of individuals with lengthy-time period health circumstances has elevated, additional a million individuals might have diabetes by 2035, and bigger proportion of youngsters than adults live in households that earn beneath the minimal earnings customary. We nonetheless have a lot work to do to shut the inequalities, that are removed from inevitable and this information units out the place we should focus our efforts. You will discover a new chapter on youngster health, a brand new addition of future traits that includes all through all chapters and an prolonged chapter on health safety. You can learn extra in our blog and discover the total report by way of the PHE home page. Please do have a look.

Excessive alcohol use is a number one taker of life within the center-aged, accounting for numerous distress and greater than 1,000,000 admissions to hospital yearly.  Liver most cancers charges are one of many few traits going within the mistaken path. We know that for younger individuals and for the toughest drinkers, probably the most evidenced intervention can be to set a minimal worth, and our 2016 evidence review, revealed by The Lancet, is usually thought to be the gold customary for the vary of actions, together with worth, which might have to be taken to noticeably deal with alcohol hurt. There are after all parallels right here with tackling weight problems and our work with the meals business on calorie discount, a partnership with over 200 corporations. Today there are thousands and thousands of adults in center age who drink persistently above low threat ranges. Our marketing campaign with Drinkaware is aimed squarely at them. Having ‘drink free days’ is an simply comprehensible, pragmatic and wise message and if acted on is prone to cut back the dangers of hurt to health. Drinkaware is an training charity whose mission is to scale back alcohol hurt. They have a formidable attain of 9 million distinctive guests on their web site annually in search of recommendation which is why we wish to work with them. Whilst Drinkaware receives funding from the alcohol business amongst others, they don’t seem to be the alcohol business and they’re fierce of their defence of their independence.  Public health must be the place persons are, dwelling the lives that they lead within the locations that they dwell. We want to fulfill them there and be related to them. I make no apology for being clear and direct about this. The marketing campaign might be rigorously and independently evaluated and we will act on its findings no matter they could be.

And lastly, subsequent week there might be a health dialogue between the UK and Chinese Governments and I might be accompanying Matt Hancock MP Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to alternate experience on how we’re tackling prevention together with psychological health and embracing expertise. My subsequent message might be on Friday 28 September.

Best needs


Friday messages from 2012-2016 are available on GOV.UK

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