Public health

Limited awareness of behaviour change on dementia

More than a quarter (28%) of the British public is unable to correctly identify any potentially modifiable risk factor for developing dementia, according to new findings from the British Social Attitudes survey, commissioned by Public Health England.

There is growing evidence that a third of dementia cases could be a result of factors potentially in our control, and actions like taking regular exercise and not smoking can reduce your risk of developing it. This means there is huge potential for prevention.

Culture: Urban Future

A new report by UNESCO examines the link between investment in culture and sustainability in the development of cities. It concludes that culture is “a strategic asset for creating cities that are more inclusive, creative and sustainable”.

Shortfall in mental health funding

Analysis by the King’s Fund has found that despite promises of “parity of esteem” for physical and mental health, 40 per cent of mental health trusts saw their income fall in 2015/16. NHS England had made it clear that it expected CCGs to increase mental health funding in 2015/16.

Dementia inequalities

The Government has released figures which show that the number of people dying with a diagnosis of dementia has doubled since 2001. People who live in more deprived areas die with dementia at a younger age than those who live in more affluent areas.

All Our Health

Public Health England has issued a framework of tools and resources called ‘All Our Health’ for all health and care professionals to embed and extend prevention, health protection and promotion of wellbeing and resilience into the delivery of health and social care.

All Our Health provides a framework and tools and resources to support this ‘health promoting practice’ with quick links to evidence and impact measures and top tips on what works.

Ministers support for wellbeing impacts of the arts

The new Culture Secretary and the Minister for the Arts have both made speeches in the past couple of weeks praising the arts for their impact on health and wellbeing.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said “the arts can do wonders for mental and physical health as well as for people with long-term conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s.” While Arts Minister Matt Hancock discussed the intrinsic and instrumental values of the arts; “By their nature many modern advances, both digital and artistic, aren’t measured in GDP.”

Strategy for public health

Public Health England has published its strategic plan for the next four years focusing on reducing health inequalities.

The plan examines how changes in public health funding will be rolled out and how PHE will try to ensure these are fair across the country. It also includes a role for new technology and changes in how health interventions are delivered locally.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-health-england-strategic-plan

Evidence for gardens and health

An independent report on the benefits of gardens and gardening on health has identified the important place gardening interventions have in the wider health and care system with a focus on four specific areas: social prescribing; community gardens; dementia care; end-of-life care.

Mapping social prescribing in London

The London Voluntary Services Council has issued an updated map of social prescribing in London.

The regularly updated map includes the range of different social prescribing activities across the city and is open to new additions. Link to the London Social Prescribing map update

Guide to community centred approach to health

Public Health England and NHS England have published a guide calling on health commissioners to engage more with local community and volunteer groups to improve people’s health. The guide says commissioners should “use the family of community-centred approaches as a tool to consider potential options for commissioning health improvement and preventive services”.

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