The new office will design, implement and monitor the policies that have been created to improve all health outcomes / Shutterstock / Elena Nichizhenova
The UK government has launched a new office for health promotion, designed to lead efforts to improve the country’s physical and mental health.
Responsible for promoting physical activity, combating obesity and improving mental health, the new office is inspired by similar projects around the world, such as Singapore’s “health promotion council”.
Launched in response to the pandemic – which has exposed the severity of the UK’s poor public health in terms of preventable diseases – the office will address and tackle these public health issues at all ages.
Its mandate will be to “systematically tackle the major preventable risk factors causing death and ill health in the UK” by designing, implementing and monitoring delivery policy across government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of physical health in our ability to fight such diseases, and we must continue to help people lead healthy lives so that we can all be better off. prevent and fight disease.
“The new Office of Health Promotion will play a critical role in addressing the causes, not just the symptoms, of poor health and in improving disease prevention.
Located within the Department of Health and Social Affairs (DHSC), the office will aim to bring together a range of skills to lead a new era of public health policy, leveraging modern digital tools and data, as well as actuarial science and benefit experts.
The Bureau will now undertake to recruit a “senior expert” who will report jointly to the Secretary of Health and the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty.
It is understood, however, that the new office will not receive additional funding and will be operated using resources from the existing health budget.
Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Good physical and mental health is essential to our happiness and well-being. Yet much of what keeps us healthy happens outside of hospitals and health services. .
“By creating the Office of Health Promotion, we will place health promotion at the heart of government, working with the Chief Medical Officer, so that we can improve the health of our nation, working through national governments.” and local.
“Prevention is better than cure. By putting in place innovative prevention measures, we can help everyone live longer and healthier lives as we get back to normal and relieve the pressure on our NHS.”
The launch of the new office follows the creation of the new UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA), which is slated to launch in April 2021.
With UKHSA leading the way in health security, the Office for Health Promotion will focus on improving health, leading nationally to exert influence across the entire health and care system and beyond .