We believe prevention is a key pillar of maintaining a healthy society. As well as tackling the social determinants of health, we would encourage investment specifically in public health measures. This would save the NHS money in the long term by keeping people healthy.
- Reverse cuts to public health budgets and ensure that money given to local government is ringfenced for public health spending.
- We should continue to treat all individuals with infectious diseases, regardless of citizenship, as a public health protection measure.
- Take urgent measures to deal with air pollution to minimize harm to human health.
- Introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol, and a sugar tax. Force the fast food industry to cut the use of additives such as sugar and salt.
- Universalise detailed food and drink labelling, including calorie labeling on alcohol. Place tougher controls on alcohol advertising.
- Stricter rules and greater transparency surrounding links between the food & drinks and pharmaceutical industries, and public health research & policy
- Provide greater access to exercise and sport in schools and local communities.
- Adequately fund local authority public health education and public health policies.
- Stop the outsourcing of public health services and reintegrate them with other NHS services.
Reducing health inequity
There is incontrovertible evidence (e.g. Centre for Welfare Policy Reform) that health inequity arises from social inequalities. To reduce such inequalities requires action across all determinants. Targeting the most disadvantaged alone will not improve health sufficiently. To reduce the social gradient in health, actions must be universal and with a scale and intensity that is proportionate to the level of disadvantage.
We therefore strongly support evidence based programmes to achieve the following 6 policy objectives:
- Give every child the best start in life.
- Enable young people to achieve the maximum of their potential for healthy lives.
- Create fair employment and meaningful work for all.
- Ensure a healthy standard of living for all.
- Create and develop healthy and sustainable communities.
- Take every opportunity to promote well-being and prevent ill-health.