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PHE launches health resource to support commissioning and policymaking

Health matters’, a new resource for public health professionals, will help support commissioning and service delivery across eight priority areas.

The resource, launched today (15 September) at Public Health England’s (PHE’s) annual conference in Warwick, will bring together local and national level data, policy and programme expertise to make it more easily accessible.

It will also unify campaigning and social marketing resources in an “easy-to-use, engaging format” to support better public health interventions.

Christine Mead, behaviour change commissioner at the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, said: “I found Health matters a really useful resource, particularly the presentation and the reference guide.

“I can use the content easily and directly with different teams, departments and services, and it’s also very insightful for the development of our strategy work.”

The first of eight planned resources, ‘Health matters: smoking and quitting in England’, debuted today ahead of future editions spanning other priority aspects, such as obesity, alcohol, antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis, early years and dementia, with some editions looking at other areas of PHE’s mandated functions.

The pilot focuses particularly on quitting smoking to support PHE’s ambition to see a tobacco-free generation by 2025. It brings together the “best available evidence” of what the public body knows about smoking and how to help people quit.

PHE chief executive, Duncan Selbie, said: “Health matters is part of our mission to provide user-friendly advice and guidance and, in particular, on what works. This is the first in the series and we hope it will prove helpful to practitioners and policy makers in helping people to quit smoking.”

Dr Andy McEwen, executive director of the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training, added: “Health matters but occasionally we need to remind ourselves of why it matters. The case still has to be made for commissioning effective stop smoking services and Health matters is a useful, cutting edge resource that helps the national message be delivered at a local level.”

The resource launch comes on the same day as a PHE-led study that showed that combination of unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and high BMI is the biggest overall contributor to the total number of years lived with ill-health.

The study therefore called for “systemic action locally and nationally” to “radically upgrade” prevention and public health, including addressing its inequalities within regions.


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