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Policy Exchange - Saving a lost decade

How a new deal for public health can help build a healthier nation

For far too long our healthcare policy has been focused on an institution, the NHS, rather than the health and wellbeing of the population as a whole. The COVID 19 pandemic has exposed the flaws of this approach. High rates of obesity, increasing health inequality and stalling life expectancy have all translated into a higher death rate recorded from the pandemic.

New analysis undertaken by Policy Exchange has revealed the wider consequences of continued inaction on health improvement and prevention. We find that the Government is in danger of a lost decade of health, with ambitions to meet a manifesto target of increasing healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035 well off track. In this report, we argue that the decision to remove health protection functions from Public Health England to a new National Institute for Health Protection presents an opportunity to reimagine and design a better public health system.

Saving a lost decade

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