The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) welcomes the Government’s prevention green paper published today. We look forward to continuing to work together with our members, partners and the Government to deliver the ambitious programme outlined in the paper.
Prevention is better than cure, and the timely release of this paper, despite current political challenges, signals the Government’s commitment to rebalance resources from treating avoidable illnesses to preventing them; promoting wellness and its wider determinants, and reducing health inequalities across England.
As the professional membership body for public health, we are uniquely positioned through our training, standards, policy work and through our members – the specialist public health workforce in the UK – to support the Government in delivering the outcomes laid out in today’s paper.
It is important though for the Government to recognise that reductions to the public health grant and wider council budgets must be reversed if the vision outlined in the prevention green paper is to become a reality. In order to achieve the ambitions of the paper it is vital that local delivery systems receive the £1 billion per annum increase in funding they need to deliver effective prevention.
The health index for England is particularly welcome as it will enable a much more holistic assessment of the wealth of England to be made. It will compliment GDP and other economic measures in providing a richer picture of the health and wellbeing of people and communities. It will help the nation to focus on the devastating impact underpinning inequalities in health outcomes; not just on health but also on the economic wellbeing of the nation, reducing inequalities in health outcomes policies nationally and locally to be cogent in order to have a meaningful impact on the wider determinants of health such as poverty and deprivation, education and employment in the context of some of our most vulnerable communities.
FPH have worked closely with the Association of Directors of Public Health and The Health Foundation, as well as the Local Government Association and our other partners to argue for increased spending for prevention and we look forward to continued collaboration.
Maggie Rae, FPH President said “FPH and our members welcome the Government’s ambition to place prevention at the heart of the health agenda, as outlined in today’s prevention green paper. We also recognise that for the local system to deliver effective prevention further funding is necessary. Preventing ill-health leads to the best results for individuals and for society and we look forward to working with the Government and our members to deliver the programme of work outlined in the paper.”