Health Secretary Matt Hancock to unveil plans to issue personalised health warnings based on government data in bid to help Brits live an extra five years
- Matt Hancock will unveil strategy to give extra five years of healthy life by 2035
- The average healthy life expectancy is 63.5 years for boys and 64 years for girls
- The Health Secretary wants to use the new technique of ‘predictive prevention’
Matt Hancock will say prevention will be at the heart of the NHS long-term plan
People must take more responsibility for their own health by eating less, stopping smoking and taking more exercise, the Health Secretary will say today.
Matt Hancock will declare prevention is better than cure as he unveils a strategy to give everyone an extra five years of healthy life by 2035.
At present, boys can expect an average healthy life expectancy of 63-and-a-half years, with another 16 years in poor health.
Girls can expect 64 years of healthy life plus 19 years of illness.
Mr Hancock wants to use the new technique of ‘predictive prevention’, where Government data is used to target different messages at those to whom it is likely to apply.
For example, pregnant women in Blackpool would receive stop smoking messages because the data shows pregnant women in Blackpool are much more likely to smoke than elsewhere.
The Health Secretary will call on GPs and other community services to step up to the plate to take the pressure off hospitals.
However, he will also say: ‘Prevention is also about ensuring people take greater responsibility for managing their own health.
‘It’s about people choosing to look after themselves better, staying active and stopping smoking. Making better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat.’
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The Health Secretary will add: ‘And the reason why getting prevention right really matters is because it’s the only way we can tackle health inequality.’
Mr Hancock will say prevention will be at the heart of the NHS long-term plan, due later this year.
In turn, the NHS will do more to identify and tackle the root causes of poor health by using genomics, working with employers and improving housing.
Mr Hancock will also announce that the Government is to put forward ‘realistic but ambitious goals’ to bring salt levels down further by Easter.
People must take more responsibility for their own health by eating less, stopping smoking and taking more exercise, the Health Secretary will say today
The Health Secretary will say: ‘We are spending £97billion of public money on treating disease and only £8billion preventing it across the UK.
‘You don’t have to be an economist to see those numbers don’t stack up.’ Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said: ‘Investing in prevention is the smartest thing we can do.
‘We need to move from a system that detects and treats illnesses to one that also predicts and prevents poor health through promoting health in all policies and puts people back in charge of their own health.’
Helen Donovan, public health lead at the Royal College of Nursing, said: ‘We welcome the fact that the Health Secretary is making prevention a priority.
‘But Mr Hancock must realise his plans will start at a disadvantage as local authorities struggle with planned cuts to public health budgets of almost 4 per cent per year until 2021.
‘While it’s clear he sees that prevention isn’t an optional extra, we need to see properly-funded, accountable services delivered by a fully-staffed nursing workforce backed by adequate resources.’
The ten million people with arthritis in the UK will lose about five years of ‘quality life’ due to the condition, research suggests.
Their ability to work, spend time with loved ones and do simple movements without pain is severely impacted, a report by the Versus Arthritis charity and York Health Economics Consortium at the University of York found.
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