Intended for healthcare professionals

Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: Is Matt Hancock really prioritising prevention over cure?

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 13 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4712
  1. David Oliver, consultant in geriatrics and acute general medicine
  1. Berkshire
  1. davidoliver372{at}
    Follow David on Twitter: @mancunianmedic

Last week Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary for England, gave a speech launching a new government document, Prevention is Better than Cure: Our Vision to Help You Live Well for Longer.12 After much advance publicity I was curious to see its contents. I’m enthused by the focus and I don’t doubt his sincerity but, without cogent detail of meaningful investment, policy levers, and implementation plans, visions don’t come true.

There’s a framing preamble, the restatement of established expert consensus on prevention and public health, and key facts and figures. There’s a series of ambitions. But the paper offers little tangible new policy, funding, or even a hint at workforce planning to deliver them.

It …

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