A new health promotion office to improve the country’s health

  • New Office for Health Promotion will lead national efforts to improve and level public health

  • He will help ministers design and operationalize a radical change in public health policy

  • New approach will see government-wide action to improve the health of the country by tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity

The new Office for Health Promotion will lead national efforts to improve and level the health of the nation by tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity.

The Bureau will recruit a Chief Expert who will report jointly to the Secretary of Health and the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty. The mission of the Office will be to systematically tackle the main preventable risk factors causing death and ill health in the UK, by designing, implementing and monitoring the implementation policy across government . It will bring together a range of skills to lead a new era of public health policy, drawing on modern digital tools, data, and actuarial science and delivery experts.

The Office for Health Promotion will sit within the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC), and lead government-wide work to promote good health and prevent diseases that shorten lives and cost the NHS billions each year, building on the work of Public Health England.

This will allow for more concerted and sustained action between national and local governments, the NHS and governments, where many of the broader determinants of health lie.

A large portion of people’s health outcomes (around 80%) are not related to the health care they receive but to broader preventable risk factors (such as diet, smoking, exercise). The new Bureau will help inform a new intergovernmental agenda that will seek to track these broader determinants of health and implement policies in other departments as appropriate. This office and approach will build on effective methods of this program internationally, such as in Singapore, which has a health promotion council and has launched new digital public health programs, such as their ” National Steps Challenge ”.

The Bureau will address and address important public health issues including obesity and nutrition, mental health at all ages, physical activity, sexual health, alcohol and tobacco, among others.

As England cautiously eases restrictions over the next few months, preventing the onset of preventable physical and mental illness and protecting the health of the country will be this government’s top priority. As of today, organized outdoor sport is picking up as part of the roadmap, and the government is urging people to get out and be active to help improve their health and prevent certain illnesses.

The new office will recruit expert leaders, ensuring it draws on high-quality data and evidence to support decision-making and delivery to improve health across the country.

The new office will combine Public Health England’s expertise in improving health with the DHSC health policy capacity to promote and deliver better health to communities nationwide. By combining and enhancing these functions, the Office will play a vital role in helping the public lead healthier lives.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

The new Office of Health Promotion will play a crucial role in tackling the causes, not just the symptoms, of poor health and in improving disease prevention.

Covid-19 has demonstrated the importance of physical health in our ability to fight such diseases, and we must continue to help people lead healthy lives so that we can all better prevent and fight disease.

Health and Social Affairs Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Good physical and mental health is at the heart of our happiness and well-being. Yet much of what keeps us healthy happens outside of hospitals and health services.

By creating the Office of Health Promotion, we will place health promotion at the heart of government, working with the Chief Medical Office, so that we can improve the health of our nation, working through national governments. and local.

Prevention is better than cure. By putting in place innovative prevention measures, we can help everyone live longer and healthier lives as we return to normalcy and relieve pressures from our NHS.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many vulnerabilities in the health of the population – from obesity to poor mental health, and it is more important than ever to help people lead healthier lives.

The poor health of working-age people alone costs the economy around £ 100 billion a year. By focusing on preventing ill health and improving health outcomes, this will reduce pressure on the NHS, social services and other public services.

The plans presented today will ensure that government as a whole is focused on implementing greater action to prevent health problems. There will be a new intergovernmental ministerial council on prevention, which will advance and coordinate action on the broader determinants of health to level inequalities.

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said:

It is very important to prevent health problems and to help our communities lead healthy lives.

The non-direct damage of Covid on public health will not be trivial. We need an evidence-based and collaborative approach to promoting health and supporting this recovery.

The Office for Health Promotion will work with both national and local government as well as the NHS, universities, the third sector, scientists, researchers and industry to develop evidence-based policies.

The government will also strengthen the national direction and capacity of NHS England and the focus of local health partners on supporting better health, as part of a campaign to bring health to the people at the forefront for the entire health and care system.

This is a key part of the White Paper on Health and Care, with integrated systems of care bringing together the collective resources and strengths of the local system, the NHS, local authorities, the voluntary sector and others to improve health. of their region.

By joining care, it will level inequalities across the country and address the many determinants of health and well-being, to prevent or intervene early in the event of ill health.

Significant progress has been made over the past decades, enabling people to live longer and healthier lives, but evidence shows that on average 20% of people’s lives are spent in poor health.

Today’s announcement follows the creation of the new UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), scheduled for launch in April. With the UKHSA A leader in health security, the Office of Health Promotion will focus on improving health, leading at the national level to exert influence across the entire health and care system and beyond .

The Office of Health Promotion will be created by fall. The government will set out in more detail its plans and ambitions to improve public health later this year.

Background information

Data from the Green Paper on Work, Health and Disability, 2016

PHE England Health Profile 2018: Chapter 1


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