Government papers: Prevention is better than cure

Prevention is crucial to improving the health of the whole population. This paper from the Department of Health & Social Care sets out the government’s vision to ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest.

It focuses on the factors that influence health: communities, employers, industry, local government, housing, schools and charities.

Key findings

  • Early, proactive action from employers can retain and reintegrate those who are struggling with their health, or who are off sick. Flexible adjustments to the workplace, working hours, or the job itself will also help people to thrive in the role. Occupational health advice to employers helps them achieve this.
  • If more employers acted like the best, it would help the government achieve its ambition of seeing one million more disabled people in work by 2027. The government will consult next year on measures to encourage and support all employers to play their part in this agenda and to improve access to occupational health.
  • The workplace is a great setting for reaching people with messages promoting and encouraging healthy lifestyles – after all, a healthy workforce is a more productive one. As such, more employers should follow suit to help improve the health of their staff and of the nation.