In response to a new BMA report on public health: Prevention Before Cure: Prioritising Population Health, Nick Ville, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said:
“The Government needs to match its rhetoric on improving the health and wellbeing of the nation by ending the short-sighted cuts to public health and prevention services that we have seen in recent years. It’s a false economy to cut funding on vital services such as smoking cessation and sexual health when we know they deliver real benefits to patients and taxpayers.
“Emergency admissions related to obesity, smoking and alcohol are on the rise so it is essential that we make prevention a priority for the NHS and move to a population health approach. This will require effective partnerships between the NHS and other local public services. Without this, we will fail to narrow the widening health inequalities we are seeing.
“The NHS Long Term Plan prioritises health and wellbeing services and outlines a vision for the future that needs to be backed. But this will be undermined if the Government fails to boost spending on public health services in this autumn’s spending review.”