The Royal College of Physicians has responded to the publication of the UK government’s policy paper, Major conditions strategy: case for change and our strategic framework.
Dr Sarah Clarke, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said:
“To tackle ill health, we must tackle the root causes of ill health. The NHS can try to make people better once they are already ill, but cannot take responsibility for the reasons why people get sick in the first place – poor air quality, housing, food, employment, transport, discrimination and community safety. To support people to lead longer lives in better health, ease the pressure on our health service and the economy, all parts of government must play a role in tackling health inequalities.
“It is reassuring that this interim report on the DHSC major conditions strategy recognises that wider social determinants contribute to serious health conditions, and we welcome a commitment to better understanding health inequalities and how to tackle them through data collection. The RCP convenes the Inequalities in Health Alliance – a coalition of more than 240 organisations – and we have long called for a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities that tackles the causes of avoidable ill health.”