Public health

Dementia costs £26bn annually

The Alzheimer’s Society has calculated the total cost of dementia to the UK at £26 billion a year with people with dementia, their carers and families shouldering two-thirds of the cost themselves. The charity is urging the government to end the artificial divide between health and social care which unfairly disadvantages people with dementia.

Report of Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing

Recommendations on the contribution of arts and culture are included in a new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics. “Wellbeing in four policy areas” argues that arts spending should be targeted at communities with low levels of wellbeing, with an emphasis on participation rather than arts events designed for spectators.

London wellbeing lower than the UK

Residents of London have higher anxiety and lower life satisfaction and happiness than those living in the rest of the UK according to the latest national wellbeing measures. Respondents with good physical health were much more likely to report happiness and wellbeing while those with very bad health had the lowest life satisfaction score.

Call for physical activity initiatives

A call has been issued for projects and programmes that demonstrate good or promising practice in increasing levels of physical activity in local communities.

Health and Wellbeing Boards' local priorities

The Local Government Association has recently made available a new resource showing the priorities that have been identified by Health and Wellbeing Boards across the country.
The searchable resource enables people to select different priorities (eg dementia, children, etc) and highlight areas nationally which are working on that priority area. It also includes local health and wellbeing strategies, and data about local population health.

Commissioning guide published

A new guide has been published by the Royal Society for Public Health which provides an overview of the commissioning process aimed at providers and commissioners of health improvement services. Following the move of public health into local authorities, the guide is intended to help commissioners make the most of the opportunities presented by changes to commissioning. The guide will provide valuable information to providers of health improvement services, NHS commissioners and public health professionals as well as individuals with limited experience of commissioning services.

Call for preventative action on dementia

Fifty-nine organisations and experts from across the dementia and public health community, including practitioners and researchers, have signed a consensus statement calling for steps to be taken to reduce the risk of dementia for the population. The agreement, known as the Blackfriars Consensus Statement, says that the scientific evidence on dementia risk reduction is evolving rapidly and is now sufficient to justify action to incorporate dementia risk reduction into health policies and to raise wider awareness about which factors can reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Public health review

The Local Government Association has produced two new publications examining the impact of the transfer of public health responsibilities to local authorities. The papers look at how local authorities are integrating public health and how they are planning for the future particularly in relation to local health and wellbeing boards.

New tool to link environment and health

Imperial College London has launched a new environment and health atlas for England and Wales to provide interactive maps showing the links between health and environmental factors. The maps show geographical variations for 14 different health conditions alongside environmental factors. They have been developed as a resource for the public, researchers and anyone working in public health and policy to better understand the geographic distribution of environmental agents and health conditions in England and Wales.

Fund to keep people out of hospital

A new £2m government fund has been established to test new approaches to helping older people stay out of hospital. The “Reduce Pressure in Hospitals Fund” is seeking bids for proposals that use volunteers and can demonstrate ways that older people can be supported in their homes or as they are discharged from hospital. The focus on the funding is on supporting older people next winter and there is an emphasis on projects which can “use the funding to mobilise or scale-up quickly and help the NHS to manage pressure on hospitals”.


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