Published: Wed, November 07, 2018
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Health Secretary Tells Employers They Need To Care More For Sick Workers

Health Secretary Tells Employers They Need To Care More For Sick Workers

He said: "As well as the rights we have as citizens to access NHS services free at the point of use, we all have responsibilities too".

"Reductions to services such as smoking cessation and sexual health in some areas are directly contributing to unacceptable variations in the quality and quantity of care available to the population".

"Making better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat".

Matt Hancock, speaking to the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, spoke about a major push for prevention, and said that people should "take more care of their own health".

He said: "Whilst the Health Secretary's focus on prevention is a step in the right direction it does not take into account the thousands of people living with long-term health conditions right now".

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. "That requires more resources for prevention".

The BMA is asking for proposals to be matched with investment, to enable tougher action on the driving factors behind preventable ill-health.

"You don't have to be an economist to see those numbers don't stack up".

"Any strategy to reduce pressure on the NHS is welcome but will only succeed if it tackles health inequalities as an integral part of prevention and public health" says Dr Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians.

"That's why prevention matters".

The document also talks of adopting new approaches like predictive prevention which uses digital technology to provide precise and targeted health advice to individuals.

His plans include increasing specialist mental health services to a further 30,000 women during and post pregnancy by 2020 to 2021, halving childhood obesity, diagnosing 75% of cancers at stages 1 and 2 by 2028, and offering whole-genome sequencing to all seriously ill children and those with cancer by 2019.

Investing in prevention is the smartest thing we can do.

At the weekend Theresa May said the Conservatives "are now the natural party of the NHS" and said the Government was putting the public health system, created 70 years ago, on a path to "prosper for another 70 years and more".

The latest NHS strategy comes just days after the Chancellor Philip Hammond pledged £20.5bn to fund the health service over the next five years.

Individual responsibility is at the heart of Health Secretary Matt Hancock's new policy for the future of the NHS.

"In local communities, years of cuts and failed privatisation have resulted in health visitor and school nurse numbers falling, whilst children are losing out on the key early years health interventions they need".

He said: "Unless ministers reverse these cuts and start fully funding public health services, these announcements will be dismissed as a litany of hollow promises".

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