News ID: 233859
Published: 1157 GMT November 05, 2018

NHS prevention plan aims to boost life expectancy

NHS prevention plan aims to boost life expectancy
Published by BBC

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, reported BBC.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is setting out his long-term vision for the NHS on Monday — and it will focus on preventing illness.

He said that 10 times more money is spent on treating disease than prevention — which ‘doesn't stack up’.

The plan also recommended that bosses should do more to keep staff healthy.

Hancock told BBC Radio 4's Today program there needed to be a shift in culture and in the way resources are balanced.

"For too long the NHS has seen itself as essentially the National Hospital Service, with primary care and GPs round the side," he said.

"I want to see it as the health service of the nation, helping people to stay healthier."

In his speech later, Hancock is expected to set out his aim for people to have five more years of healthy, independent life by 2035. UK life expectancy is currently 82.9 years for women, and 79.2 for men.

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

Hancock is expected to say: "It's about people choosing to look after themselves better, staying active and stopping smoking.

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

But he will say the strategy is ‘not about penalizing people’.

"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.

The plan also includes ambitions to:

 

● Halve childhood obesity by 2030

● Reduce loneliness by making ‘social prescribing’ — when doctors or nurses prescribe community activities — more widespread

● Diagnosing 75 percent of cancers at stages one and two by 2028

● Use technology to predict patients' illnesses and target advice at sections of the population

   
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