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

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

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

"Prevention is about ensuring people take greater responsibility for managing their own health".

Launching its 'Prevention is better than cure' strategy this morning (November 5), the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) said it will "put prevention at the heart of the NHS long-term plan" and greater focus will be put on "primary and community care services and the value they can bring in offering early support".

Companies should give their employees free fruit to help keep them healthy and ease pressures on the NHS, Matt Hancock has said.

It goes on to say that the health and social care services need to fundamentally change to allow this to happen, and society as a whole has to get involved, for example bosses should do more to encourage their workers to stay healthy, local government should help encourage walking and cycling, and schools working more closely with mental health services to help young people stay mentally well.

Helen Donovan, professional lead for public health at the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Matt Hancock must realise his plans will start at a disadvantage as local authorities struggle with planned cuts to public health budgets of nearly 4% per year until 2021."Disadvantaged areas emerge worse off without these vital services, with life expectancy and the poorest bearing the brunt of underinvestment in public health".

"Prevention is a win-win both in the obvious impact it has on the health of the population and its cost effectiveness in reducing future demand on NHS services".

"It's about helping them make better choices, giving them all the support we can, because we know taking the tough decisions is never easy", he will tell the annual meeting of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes.

"There is a need to reserve the cuts to public health budgets, as in many areas, public health services do not adequately meet the health needs of the local population".

Mr Hancock will add: "In the United Kingdom, we are spending £97bn of public money on treating disease and only £8bn preventing it across the UK".

Hancock also announced plans for a dedicated prevention green paper, which would be published in 2019.

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

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.

The shift towards prevention has also been praised by the Royal College of Nursing, which reiterated the call for serious investment at a local level.

Labour MP Jonathan Ashworth said while the plans are "laudable", they follow "years of cuts and failed privatisation".