Prevention is still better than cure

By Ruth Luscombe | 08 November 2023

It is hard to avoid daily news about our National Health Service’s (NHS) incapacity to cope with current levels of illness. Covid shockwaves still batter mental and physical health, as well as NHS capacity. Brexit and strikes over pay and conditions affect staffing. Waiting lists are getting longer. When will the next pandemic strike? And so on.

None of the stories question the narrative, which is that we have a health service problem. But the Office for National Statistics recently found almost half the UK population reported a long-standing health issue and 2.5 million people in the UK are already ‘economically inactive’ due to long-term sickness. Why aren’t we asking why so many people are unwell, what’s causing it and how we can prevent this number from growing?

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