Intended for healthcare professionals


The Wanless report and public health

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 11 September 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:573
  1. David J Hunter, professor of health policy and management
  1. School for Health, Wolfson Research Institute, University of Durham, Queen's Campus, Stockton on Tees TS17 6BH

    Wanless's fully engaged scenario means a bigger role for public health

    Poor levels of health in the population will put considerable pressure on the NHS that risks swamping the government's efforts to meet targets and achieve solid gains through its sizeable injection of money. Not surprising, then, that former banker Derek Wanless's report on long term funding challenges for the NHS, which was published last year, struck a chord with ministers and advisers.1 In his 2003 budget the chancellor invited Wanless to provide an update of the long term challenges in implementing the fully engaged scenario.2 This scenario was the most ambitious and optimistic of the three scenarios described in Wanless's first report and has been endorsed by the government. It contains heroic assumptions about the ability of people to take greater responsibility for their health, and services to transform themselves through efficient use of resources and a high rate of uptake of technology. A dramatic improvement in health status is anticipated with life expectancy going beyond current forecasts. But the …

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