Patients must "take greater responsibility for managing their own health"

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 7, 2018

Emphasising community pharmacy as a "front door to health", Mr Lyonette said the opportunity for intervention by community pharmacists who "daily encounter millions of apparently healthy people as well as people seeking treatment for known ill health" is "considerable". It shifts the focus to primary and community care services and the value they can bring in offering early support.

Addressing the conference, Mr Hancock said the population had been too focussed on "rights" and now needed to look at "responsibilities".

That was the view of health groups as they responded to a government policy paper that argued that prevention would form an "integral" part of the forthcoming long-term plan for the NHS.

The health secretary has refused to be drawn on how much of the extra £20 billion earmarked for the NHS would be spent on preventative measures.

She 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".

But she also stressed that it is "not only hospitals that are feeling the strain and we urgently need greater investment in general practice - both extra funding and additional numbers of Global Positioning System and other healthcare professionals - before we can take on the responsibility of caring for and supporting even greater numbers of patients".

He said: "Of course the record number of people in work is good news on this front and employers have a bigger role in helping their staff stay healthy and return to health after serious illness".

That is why under the "Prevention is better than cure" plan, people in England are being told to cut back on alcohol, sugar, salt and fat in a bid to boost the nation's life expectancy by five years.

Unveiling the policy paper at the annual meeting of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes on 5 November, Hancock said: "In the United Kingdom, we are spending £97bn of public money on treating disease and only £8bn preventing it".

Mr Hancock did not accept the point, claiming there had been a fall in inequality under the Conservatives, and stressing the "record number of jobs" available.

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

"That's why prevention matters".

The Government's ambitions to improve public health include reducing loneliness, halving childhood obesity by 2030 and diagnosing three quarters of cancers at stages 1 and 2 by 2028. "That's why we need a new 21st century focus on prevention".

To achieve this, Mr Hancock will encourage people to take more responsibility for their own health.

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

He said: "Unless ministers reverse these cuts and start fully funding public health services, these announcements will be dismissed as a litany of hollow promises".

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