6. September 2012 15:03
Mike Farrar, NHS Confederation Chief Executive, has warned the new Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt not to overlook the main challenges the NHS faces in the future.
Andrew Lansley’s replacement is tasked with continuing the transition of the health service conjured up by his predecessor.
While the NHS Confed leader realises the importance of the reforms, he advised Mr Hunt to keep an “eye on the long-term issues the NHS is facing”.
An ageing population and growing rates of obesity, plus the rising number of diabetes cases, could put the health service at breaking point in coming years.
Farrar said it is these challenges which Mr Hunt needs to pay attention to. “He is taking on a critical brief at a critical time,” he said.
‘Top of Mr Hunt’s in-tray will be making sure the NHS is financially sustainable for the future and fit to respond to the needs of our changing population. Driving change in these areas will be the big test of the success of this Government.”
The former SHA head thanked the departing Andrew Lansley for his “commitment to the NHS” during his time in office and in shadow government. “He has held his brief in health for almost a decade and that is something that not many other politicians can say they have done,” he said.
8. May 2012 11:29
NICE has issued draft public health guidance to tackle the ever-increasing problem of obesity in England using a community-wide approach.
Draft recommendations advise that activities should be integrated within wider strategies, communities be involved to gather thoughts on obesity, and that private healthcare providers be used to implement local programmes.
Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE, said the recommendations “emphasise the importance” of working with local people to tackle obesity.
The health regulator estimates that the long term consequences of obesity cost the NHS around £5.1 billion each year.
Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Currently, more than a quarter of adult population are classed as obese.
Levels of obesity are rising in England and up to 60% of men, half of women and a quarter of children could be classed as obese by 2050.
NICE aims to tackle the problem by using an integrated community approach where local government and regional bodies and networks partner to plan and implement local strategies.
The new guidance is now open for consultation with NICE welcoming comments until 6 June.