The government has decided to give local councils more power to allow them to tackle the obesity crisis.
Under new plans local councils will be responsible for developing and promoting healthy lifestyle. Currently the NHS is responsible setting initiatives and managing programs. Now the local councils will be working directly with local people to educate people on healthy eating and exercise.
Andrew Lansley: “If you want to impact positively on people’s health you have to look beyond the health service”
The government have said that as local councils are already working so closely with local people on issues of housing, transports and leisure it makes sense that they will also be responsible to promoting good health locally too.
New Public Health Service – The PHS
There are also proposals in a white paper for the development of a new health service, the Public Health Service. This will focus on nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle and be in control of educating adults on how to live a healthily.
It is hoped that the poorest areas will receive extra funds to boost awareness and initiatives to encourage people to live healthier lives. Social-economic factors are major drivers in determining obesity, smoking and drinking, is it is often in the poorest communities that most progress can be made.
Time For The Government To Intervene
The health secretary has said that it is time for the government to take action. Rather than just telling people to be healthy it is time for the government to actually work with people on the ground to give them a helping hand.
“Health is not just about the quality of healthcare. It’s probably at least as much about the quality of people’s lives – the environment, the housing, their education and employment. We have got to arrive at a point where politicians stop just telling people how to be healthy but actually help them to do it, which is about positive steps on supporting people on things like physical activity as well as necessary interventions.” Andrew Lansley, Secretary for Health.
The scheme will cover a wide range of areas, from encouraging parents to walk to school with their children, encouragement of breastfeeding and working with local businesses to help set initiatives and programs for staff.