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Ending the blame game: the case for a new approach to public health and prevention

Public health Public health evaluation Burden of disease Preventative health Prevention United Kingdom

Too many people in the UK are suffering from preventable ill-health, with progress on prevention stalling in recent years.

Over half of the disease burden in England is deemed preventable, with one in five deaths attributed to causes that could have been avoided. The UK has made significant progress on this agenda in the past but we appear to have ‘hit a wall’ with limited progress since 2010.

Action on prevention will not only improve health but also lead to increases in economic growth, make the NHS more sustainable and help to deliver social justice. The government’s prevention green paper must deliver a paradigm shift in policy from interventions that ‘blame and punish’ to those that ‘empathise and assist’.

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