Prevention better than cure in healthcare, Matt Hancock to say

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In a speech delivered today at the International Association of National Public Health Institutes conference, Mr Hancock warned that a "radical shift" was needed in preventing disease and illness to ensure the NHS is sustainable.

"A stronger focus on primary and community healthcare is the obvious solution and our GP teams are already doing great work in keeping patients well, in their local communities, thereby easing the pressures on other parts of the NHS". "You don't have to be an economist to see those numbers don't stack up", he said.

He will announce a green paper, entitled Prevention is better than cure, outlining the vision for a "new 21st century focus on prevention", the department of health said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has issued a call for the NHS to place a greater emphasis on disease prevention to try to boost the national life expectancy by five years.

"In the United Kingdom, both were achieved by careful and considered government intervention", he said.

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

But she also stressed that it is "not only hospitals that are feeling the strain and we urgently need greater investment in general practice - both extra funding and additional numbers of Global Positioning System and other healthcare professionals - before we can take on the responsibility of caring for and supporting even greater numbers of patients".

The BMA is asking for proposals to be matched with investment, to enable tougher action on the driving factors behind preventable ill-health.

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Turning Point's Victor Adebowale said "the idea that people should take responsibility for their own health' is part of what preventative services are about".

Investing in prevention is the smartest thing we can do.

The plan also includes targets to halve childhood obesity by 2030, reduce loneliness, diagnose 75% of stage one and two cancers by 2028 and using technology to predict patients' illnesses and target advice at sections of the population.

At the weekend Theresa May said the Conservatives "are now the natural party of the NHS" and said the Government was putting the public health system, created 70 years ago, on a path to "prosper for another 70 years and more".

"Over the course of our lives, our first and most frequent interactions with health and social care services are likely to be with our GP, school nurse, dentist, local pharmacist, social worker, health visitor or midwife", the DH said.

The shift towards prevention has also been praised by the Royal College of Nursing, which reiterated the call for serious investment at a local level.

"We have to back this commitment with real action and properly fund and staff these important services", he urged.

"Unless ministers reverse these cuts and start fully funding public health services, these announcements will be dismissed as a litany of hollow promises", he added.

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