Public Health Reforms
These reforms have a positive feel to them, focusing on a more encompassing approach to Public Health, claiming to address some of the wider influences that impact on individual health:
- Social Determinants of Health
- Reduction in Child Poverty
This approach is to be taken in collaboration with Local Authorities who have the remit of dealing with social care issues. Public Health has been promised a ‘ringfenced’ budget within Local Authorities, in light of the social care and local authority cuts the reality of this promise is dubious.
There are also some worry steps being taken by the government to increase corporate and voluntary sectors inputting in to health policy; the Public Health Responsibility Deals.
The Responsibility Deals, we are still waiting with baited breathe to discover via another white paper how these will unravel. Already there are serious concerns about the nature of the relationship between businesses and public health policy.
It would be naive to assume that businesses that sell and promote unhealthy food would suddenly negate profits in an attempt to improve the health of the nation.
Instead of the ConDem government taking a strong regulatory lead they seek to promote voluntary and corporate involvement in health policy. The model of intervention promoted places government regulation as the last step. Once again shirking responsibility and leaving patients susceptible to corporate promotion of profits over health.
In short these reforms neglect and dilute patient care, through the systematic fragmentation of the NHS, decrease in government responsibility and increase in privatisation.