In response to the Conservative Party’s Green Paper on public health, Dr Anna Dixon, acting chief executive of The King's Fund, said:
'With the NHS facing a perfect storm of funding pressures and rising demand, the Conservatives are right to focus on public health and prevention.
'Separating the public health budget from that for the health service is a bold move and their commitment to reducing health inequalities represents a profound, but welcome, change in Conservative thinking. The real question will be how much funding public health will receive and whether the Conservatives are committing to an increase in current spending on health inequalities.
'Alcohol-related illnesses place huge burdens on the NHS, so we welcome the prominence given to this today. But we need a more comprehensive response to alcohol similar to the action taken on smoking over the last decade to help meet the challenge it poses.
'The pledge to support more rigorous evaluation of initiatives to change people’s lifestyle and behaviours is a move in the right direction, as the lack of reliable evidence has been an obstacle to spreading successful innovations and best practice throughout the service.'
Notes to editors:
- For further information or interviews, please contact The King’s Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2585, 020 7307 2632 or 020 7307 2581. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 020 7637 0185.
- The King’s Fund is a charity that seeks to understand how the health system in England can be improved. Using that insight, we help to shape policy, transform services and bring about behaviour change. Our work includes research, analysis, leadership development and service improvement. We also offer a wide range of resources to help everyone working in health to share knowledge, learning and ideas.
- The King's Fund report Commissioning and Behaviour Change: Kicking Bad Habits is available to download.