The Government has launched a green paper 'Advancing our Health: Prevention in the 2020s' proposing a series of actions to keep people healthy and independent for longer.
The green paper focuses on 5 key themes:
- Getting it right in the early years
- Closing the gap on physical and mental health
- Empowering better public health
- Going smoke free
- Moving to healthy weight
The Green Paper asks a series of specific questions and the British Liver Trust will be submitting a response to the Government on behalf of people living with a liver condition.
Liver disease is the third leading cause of death in those of working age, yet 90% could be prevented. The key to this is early detection and improvements to the NHS Healthcheck can be a step in the right direction to ensuring people are diagnosed early and get the support they need to make lifestyle interventions.
The Government also needs to do more to prevent obesity and alcohol related ill health – the two leading causes of preventable liver disease.
The UK will not make real progress in preventing obesity related ill health without structural changes that address the way less healthy food is marketed, promoted and sold. Similarly, the Government needs to think again and give alcohol the same prominence that smoking has in their plans. This should include reviewing the evidence emerging from Scotland on minimum unit pricing, reviewing duty rates across the board so that drinks of high alcohol volume always cost more and ensuring that consumers have accurate on product information that clearly states how many units are in each drink alongside the Chief Medical Officers’ consumption guidelines. We will be working with both the Obesity Health Alliance and the Alcohol Health Alliance to co-ordinate our response.
We also know that liver disease disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable in society. People who live in more deprived areas are six times more likely to die from liver disease than those who live in wealthier areas. The Government has an opportunity to address this and we will be considering this as part of our response
The Prevention Green Paper – Advancing our health: Prevention in the 2020s – can be found here. The consultation closes on 14 October 2019