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12.12.13

Public health should be ‘top of local government agenda’

Public health interventions provide good value for money and have a “compelling business case”, The King’s Fund has stated.

New guidance offers evidence for the economic benefits of effective public health action for local authorities.

Health think tank the King’s Fund has identified nine key areas where health can be improved, including giving children the best start in life, promoting safe and active travel, helping to ensure warmer and safer homes, access to green and open spaces, and building strong communities.

The resources provide evidence of the effectiveness of different types of action in each area, case studies of successful council interventions, the impact on health and reduction of inequalities.

David Buck, senior fellow, public health and inequalities at The King’s Fund, said: “Local authorities have a proud history of meeting crucial public health challenges and know better than most that improving health is not just about what happens in the NHS.

“As councils continue to face the most severe financial challenge in their history, there is a compelling business case for putting public health at the top of the local government agenda.

“But it is not always clear where investment will be most effective. In straitened times, we hope these resources will make it easier for local leaders to prioritise those areas where action will have the greatest benefit to communities.”

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