Matt Hancock: My vision for prevention

Prevention is a much bigger health subject than many individuals realise – and it’s about to get greater.

When we take into consideration staying wholesome, it’s usually throughout the slender bandwidth of eating effectively, exercising frequently and avoiding smoking. These are essential points for us all to deal with in fact, however there’s a lot extra to it than smoothies, park runs and vaping.

In reality, I’ve little doubt that, if we get prevention proper, it holds the important thing to longer, more healthy, happier lives and a sustainable, top quality health and care system assured for many generations to return.

This isn’t just about holding effectively bodily and mentally, or stopping unwell health sooner or later – it’s concerning the setting round us, the life-style selections we make and the way we handle current health situations, a lot of which – like some cancers – can not at present be prevented.

It’s why, after I grew to become Health Secretary, I made it one in every of my huge three priorities alongside advancing health know-how and doing far more to assist our wonderful health and social care workforce.

My new Prevention vision, launched this week, is radical and bold.

It units out a brand new strategy to:

  • holding folks wholesome, completely happy and treating their health issues rapidly
  • empowering folks to handle their very own bodily and psychological health wants nearer to dwelling with the assist of execs locally
  • delivering care in the proper place, in settings that swimsuit them and their wants

My vision doc – Prevention is better than cure – units out how we are able to use new know-how, office methods and the facility of native communities to assist folks with health points and stop worsening health.

As set out within the Government’s Aging Society Grand Challenge launched earlier this yr, it’s our goal for this nation’s inhabitants to get pleasure from, on common, 5 extra years of wholesome, impartial dwelling by 2035, whereas closing the hole between the richest and the poorest.

That means:

  • Prioritising funding in major and neighborhood healthcare
  • Making certain each little one has the perfect start in life
  • Supporting native councils to take the lead in bettering health regionally by innovation, communication and neighborhood outreach
  • Coordinating transport, housing, training, the office and the setting – within the grand enterprise to enhance our nation’s health
  • Involving employers, companies, charities, the voluntary sector and native teams in creating protected, related and wholesome neighbourhoods and workplaces

The vision is a name to motion for each a part of society – a name which incorporates offering care and assist for these offering care (formal or casual), not simply these receiving it.

So, I wish to see NHS, public health, social care and native authority leaders, employers, trainers and educators do a lot, far more to assist their devoted workforces stay wholesome, empowered and valued.

And in fact, I would like all of us as people to suppose extra concerning the preventive measures we are able to take to keep up our health and the way we would contribute to the wellbeing of our communities.

There is, in fact, a price profit to all of this. Each yr, we’re spending £97 billion of public cash on treating illness and solely £8 billion stopping it throughout the UK – that’s an imbalance in pressing want of correction. We should get smarter about the place we focus our efforts and spend our cash, not least as a result of preventative remedies value lower than retrograde remedies additional down the road.

Making this shift in favour of prevention requires extra funding and extra employees in neighborhood companies. That’s the place the NHS Long Term Plan and the extra £20.5bn a yr by the tip of 2023-24 comes into play.  We anticipate this extra funding to assist health and social care companies to prioritise prevention; with a larger concentrate on neighborhood care, psychological health, and first care.

Finally, the Government is dedicated to utilizing synthetic intelligence (AI), genomics and different applied sciences to rework the way in which we diagnose and deal with continual illnesses. The advances in clinically directed laptop algorithms to detect eye illness and most cancers signs (even to the purpose of recommending referrals as precisely as their human friends) are merely breath-taking – as are techniques able to sifting anonymised affected person information to focus on early intervention and bespoke remedy plans.

This Prevention Vision wouldn’t have been potential with out the analysis, evaluation and insights of an amazing many specialists of their discipline and – most significantly – the hopes, wants and aspirations of the folks of this nation. An enormous thanks to everybody who has already contributed to the vision. I sit up for working with you on growing a Prevention Green Paper subsequent yr to set out particular insurance policies to fulfil our ambitions.

Prevention just isn’t solely higher than remedy, it’s our greatest hope to create a happier, more healthy, extra impartial future – assist me convey that future into the present.

Visit  to search out out extra concerning the vision. There you’ll discover case research revealing how some facets are already being applied. Now is the time for everybody to work collectively to make it a actuality throughout the nation.

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