We are extremely pleased to hear that today, the Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock, has announced that prevention is set to be at the heart of the Government’s vision for the country’s health services in the future.
For a long time, RoSPA has espoused the benefits of evidence-based prevention – as many projects and initiatives have proven, we know that it works; you only need to look to the huge strides that have been made in the prevention of deaths and serious injuries in the workplace and on the roads in the UK throughout the 20th century to see that.
And yet, accidents in the home and leisure environments have contributed to an overall rise in deaths from accidents in England in 2013-2016.
Of a particular concern are falls – particularly for the over 65s and young children – and accidental poisoning, both of which we know can be prevented through simple, and often cheap, interventions.
Our Take Action Today campaign, which has been launched across the UK in areas with high incidents of child poisonings from liquid laundry capsules, target families with under-fives with simple safety messaging. In the areas where we have the data, we know this has led to a decrease in these kinds of admissions.
For the past three years, our Stand Up, Stay Up initiative has been running in 10 local authority areas to raise the quality and provision of falls-prevention activities, and has also seen the creation of a network of falls prevention professionals across the country. Strength and balance classes, and other activities that prevent the first fall, keep older people out of hospital for longer, help them to maintain independence, and stave off isolation.
Last month, we launched “Safe and active at all ages”, a national accident prevention strategy for England.
Many of the recommendations contained within the strategy align completely with Mr Hancock’s vision of prevention – not least recommendation number one – tackling health inequalities, as there is a clear link between poverty and injury rates.
We will be writing to Mr Hancock to urge him to consider accident prevention as part of his new vision, and help to ensure that injury prevention becomes a key health priority.
Posted: 11/5/2018 3:32:51 PM