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to type in the run-up to the General than cure; on past experience, token The Conservatives will aim to
Election and seek to take lumps out of changes to the NHS structure have re-invigorate competitive sport at
each other on health policy, the reality failed to deliver their desired outcomes. school through inter-school fi xtures
is that there is little that distinguishes The Conservative default position and an Olympic-style event
their respective policy positions. on public health is that legislation will
The Conservatives have highlighted be used as a last resort. Building on to encourage business, charities and
the contrast between the ballooning their enthusiasm for a behaviouralist public sector organisations to tackle
of health expenditure over the past model of public health, they have issues around diet, alcohol consumption
decade and the widening of health embraced ‘nudge theory’ promoted and physical activity. We can expect
inequalities between the social by US academics Richard H Thaler the Conservatives to use this model
classes. To address this, they propose and Cass R Sunstein – an approach as and when they enter government.
a number of structural changes to that highlights the best option, while Responsibility Deals will be struck in
help promote public health. They will still leaving the other options open these areas, with a voluntary approach
ring-fence the public health budget, for those who actively want to choose tried before legislation is countenanced.
re-name the Department of Health these, as a way of encouraging more The need for individual and corporate
as the Department of Public Health, people to make the right decision. The responsibility will be stressed.
and establish local Directors of Public Conservatives want to empower people
Health appointed by PCTs and local and local communities – and to work to be determined…
authorities to manage public health in partnership with business, local The sports and fitness industries
budgets and improve co-ordination government, communities and families should take solace from cross-party
between them. They will also strengthen – to deliver a healthy living agenda in support of the Olympic sporting legacy
the Chief Medical Offi cer’s Department, schools, workplaces, local clubs and and public health. However, the task of
making it more independent of ministers. through NHS services. restoring the health of UK public
The CMO’s Department would advise Shadow Health Secretary Andrew finances is monumental and the
the Secretary of State, who would be Lansley has welcomed the publication priority for both parties. Neither has
directly responsible (rather than a junior of a Public Health Commission report fully costed their budgets and, when
minister) for public health. entitled We’re All In This Together, Improving the time comes, further tightening is
The jury is out, however, on whether the Long Term Health of the Nation. The inevitable. No-one is immune.
these will end up as mere cosmetic Commission was an independent expert
changes or whether they will genuinely committee convened by Lansley – george mcgregor
drive a re-focusing of the priorities of including FIA chair Fred Turok – which director, politics international
the NHS towards prevention rather set out a range of recommendations healthclub@leisuremedia.com
february 2010 © cybertrek 2010 Read Health Club Management online 65
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