‘Local and national action is needed’

Local authorities and primary care trusts need to play a greater
role in improving the population’s health, says a
government-commissioned report published last week.

Schools, local authorities, employers, and the private and
voluntary sectors also have an “enhanced role” to play in providing
opportunities for individuals to become healthier, says the report
by Derek Wanless, who previously reported on the NHS’s long-term
financial and resource needs.

But the report also stresses that central government has a major
role in ensuring health service providers deliver effective
services nationally and locally.

Wanless, who is a former chief executive of the National
Westminster Bank, recommends a set of national objectives for key
risk factors such as smoking, physical activity and obesity.

Primary care trusts and local authorities should then agree joint
local targets based on the national objectives and their local
needs, which should then be reinforced through the NHS and local
government performance management and inspection systems.

– Securing Good Health for the Whole Population at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk

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