A study by The King’s Fund looks into ways public health can be improved through functions of local authorities, in line with the belief that these interventions should be based on evidence not ideology.
Partnerships to help authorities develop health programmes should be formed using a clear framework to ensure that these are the means to an end and not the end in themselves. The aims these are looking to achieve should be measured and evidenced by Health Impact Assessment (HIA) tools, and the report provides some resources which can help to develop this.
Areas that affect healthy and wellbeing throughout the life course, are health at birth and early life experiences; healthy school and education environment; consistent employment opportunities; active and safe travel, and incorporating exercise into this; warmer and safer homes; access to leisure and green spaces; strength of community and its assets to support wellbeing and resilience; public protection and regulation; and health and spatial planning. This demonstrates how tackling health and wellbeing can and should occur across multiple platforms.
Interventions which have a proven impact in areas where the need is higher are of great help in prioritising care and wellbeing. For example, those who are helped to stay in education longer have lower mortality rates than those who don’t, showing the indirect link between education and health inequalities alongside the direct impact of physical activity provision. Schools can also help by providing the resilience and problem-solving skills which help to improve outcomes and mental wellbeing in later life. There is also an economic benefit to the results of school-age inventions, which save costs in healthcare and criminal justice, as well as producing a productive generation of workers contributing to both society and the economy.
“Evolve enables schools to play a much more active role in delivering public health outcomes that are closely intertwined with their core purpose of academic achievement. Trying to address these dual outcomes in isolation is much more challenging and will only lead to short term success at best.”
– John Bishop , Evolve Managing Director
To read the full report, click here.