Green Paper for prevention is welcome but must be backed by real action
05 November 2018
- Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock publishes his vision for how he plans to revolutionise the government’s approach to prevention and announces a Green Paper in 2019.
- The approach will see a shift in focus towards primary and community care services and the value they can bring in offering early support.
- Plans to transform public health include initiatives to increase specialist mental health services, halve childhood obesity by 2030 and make social prescribing available in every local area by 2023.
Responding to the health and care secretary’s vision for prevention, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:
“We welcome the vision set out by the health and care secretary to make prevention a central pillar of the long-term plan for the NHS, and the promise of a Green Paper next year.
“Making prevention a key priority, supported by appropriate investment and leadership focus, is key to creating a long-term sustainable health and care system.
“We are particularly pleased that the secretary of state acknowledges the key role that community services and primary care must play in keeping people well for longer within their homes and their communities. People are living longer but often with multiple long-term conditions and more complex care needs. So now is the time to ensure that community services are prioritised and given the national level focus that they need.
Now is the time to ensure that community services are prioritised and given the national level focus that they need.Chief Executive
“We must also recognise that local government also has a vital role to play. This announcement represents an opportunity to address and reverse the damage that cuts to both health and local government budgets have caused to prevention services. We have to back this commitment with real action and properly fund and staff these important services.
This announcement represents an opportunity to address and reverse the damage that cuts to both health and local government budgets have caused to prevention services.
“This ambition is welcome. But if it’s to be more than yet another in a long series of rhetorical commitments to the prevention agenda, we must be mindful that it will take time to fully realise this shift towards a prevention-based health and care system, and it must be balanced against other competing priorities - all of which the NHS is being asked to deliver within the long-term plan and funding settlement.”