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Tackling obesity and gambling can lead to health improvements and ease strain on NHS

Action to prevent obesity and gambling addiction can have a huge impact on improving people's health.

Responding to NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard’s speech at ConfedExpo 2024 in Manchester Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: 

“Amanda is right to highlight that we need to decide what kind of society, and therefore what kind of NHS, we want. Do we keep just providing very expensive treatments to preventable problems or make an effort to tackle the sources of these issues head on?

“Since the NHS was founded a number of simple changes to improve people’s health have already been made – such as removing lead from petrol and banning smoking in public places. Diabetes, obesity and gambling, including on unregulated cryptocurrency markets, are issues that if tackled can have a huge impact on improving people’s health and take some of the strain off the NHS. 

“That is why we have been calling on whichever party forms the next government to commit to a cross-government health improvement mission to work towards building a healthier nation. This should focus on promoting health and wellbeing, reducing inequalities, tackling the wider determinants of health and supporting the public to be active partners in their own health. Part of this must look at tackling preventable health problems caused by issues such as smoking, obesity and problem gambling.

“The incoming government faces some key decisions on capital and estates, public health, prevention, and of course, social care. Our members have repeatedly told us that increasing capital to repair crumbling estates and replace out of date equipment is the most important thing to unlocking more productivity. Addressing problems in social care will also help ease bottlenecks in the urgent and emergency care system.

“Lastly, we agree that the NHS needs well-trained and supported managers who are accountable for the decisions they make. We look forward to working with NHSE as it develops its plans for a new code of practice for all managers and leaders.”

Original article link: https://www.nhsconfed.org/news/tackling-obesity-and-gambling-can-lead-health-improvements-and-ease-strain-nhs

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