Monday, 10 December, 2018

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

Britain's Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock arrives to attend the weekly meeting of the cabinet in Downing Street in London 'Prevention better than cure in healthcare' - Health Secretary will say
Celia Hoffman | 07 November, 2018, 03:48

Mr English added: "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".

As part of the prevention plans, the government will hold a consultation next year to encourage employers to support more disabled people into work, and to improve access to occupational health.

"Making better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat".

Hancock told the health conference that encouraging people to take "greater responsibility" for taking the strain off the NHS by cutting down how much they eat and drink.

While a combination of genomics and artificial intelligence had the potential to transform preventative medicine, he said it also was up to individuals to take greater responsibility for their own health.

"Community pharmacies are ideally placed to help people to stay healthy and avoid visits to hospital - and look forward to working with the government to make this shared vision a reality".

Mr Hancock added the "numbers don't stack up" when it comes to spending on prevention as opposed to treatment.

In a keynote speech in London, he promised a greater proportion of the £20 billion a year increase for the NHS in England announced by Prime Minister Theresa May would go to primary and community care.

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At present, some £97 billion is spent on treating disease but only £8 billion on prevention.

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".

The document also talks of adopting new approaches like predictive prevention which uses digital technology to provide precise and targeted health advice to individuals.

Helen Donovan, from the Royal College of Nursing, welcomed the plans but said they needed to be backed up with serious investments.

"Over the course of our lives, our first and most frequent interactions with health and social care services are likely to be with our GP, school nurse, dentist, local pharmacist, social worker, health visitor or midwife", the DH said.

"We have to back this commitment with real action and properly fund and staff these important services", he urged.

However, "after continued pressure on local authority budgets and cuts to public health services, this vision will need to be matched by appropriate investment", she said.

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

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