Bow Group Health & Education Policy Committee Welcomes Government’s Support for Public Health Submission and Obesity Research Paper

Health
Sunday, July 31, 2011

In March 2011, the Bow Group Health & Education Policy Committee formally submitted evidence to the Government’s public health white paper consultation following the publication of ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People: our strategy for public health in England’.    On 14th July 2011, the Government published ‘Healthy lives, healthy people: update and way forward’ as a response to its consultation.  On 27th July 2011, the Government also published a summary of consultation responses.  The Government’s updated strategy echoes many of the key policy recommendations outlined in the Bow Group’s submission, including direct reference to the Committee’s suggestion around the NHS Health Check programme:        ‘3.41. The Bow Group welcomed the Government’s continuing support for the NHS Health Check programme, saying, “As part of the national prevention strategy, we welcome the announcement that the NHS Health Checks programme will continue for those 40-74 years, and that community pharmacies should be included as an important point of access for this service”.’ (Department of Health, ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’: Summary of responses to consultations on our strategy for public health in England’, p. 37).    In addition, the Bow Group Health & Education Policy Committee has successfully informed the Government’s forthcoming obesity strategy paper through the publication of its recent target paper, ‘Obesity Epidemic: Paranoia or Evidence-Based?’, which was published on 1st June 2011 and is available on the Bow Group website.  The research paper has been formally received by the Under-Secretary for State for Public Health, Anne Milton MP, and will formally form part of the review currently being undertaken by the Department of Health Obesity Unit.      Stuart Carroll, Chairman of the Health & Education Policy Committee, said:   “It is extremely pleasing to see the Coalition Government listening to, and taking on board, our key policy recommendations regarding its public health strategy and, in particular, its strategy for obesity which is currently subject to policy formulation and is under internal departmental review.  I am absolutely delighted to see the Bow Group playing a lead role in submitting evidence to important health consultations of this kind, and it is particularly gratifying that the Committee’s expertise within the fields of pharmacy and obesity are being utilised in this way.  Although the Government’s ambitious public health reforms will confront challenges in terms of practical implementation, it is positive that the Health Team continues to listen and is committed to finding improved ways to refine and finesse critical policy details.  Think tanks such as the Bow Group have an important role to play in this regard, and I look forward to the Health & Education Policy Committee continuing to contribute to the shaping, formulating and delivery of the Government’s health policy moving forward”. The Bow Group Health & Education Policy Committee has also recently submitted evidence to the Health Select Committee’s inquiry on public health, which is available on the Bow Group website.      For more information on the Bow Group Health & Education Policy Committee, please contact Stuart Carroll on health.policy@thebowgroup.org.