Despite improvements in life expectancy, England lags behind other countries on many key health outcomes. A new report from the Kings Fund argues that to address this, we need to move away from a system just focused on diagnosing and treating illness towards one that is based on promoting wellbeing and preventing ill health.
Population health is an approach that aims to improve physical and mental health outcomes, promote wellbeing and reduce health inequalities across an entire population. The King’s Fund’s vision is to reduce inequalities and achieve health outcomes on a par with the best in the world by focusing on population health locally, regionally and nationally. Whilst the report does not focus upon it directly, we know MSK health underpins all other aspects of health, as ARMA has always argued. The vision cannot be successful unless MSK health is part of it.
The report outlines a framework for population health and calls for action at national, regional and local levels. This should include: ambitious and binding national goals to drive progress; a cross-government strategy for reducing health inequalities; stronger political and system leadership; greater clarity on the roles and accountability of national bodies and local organisations; and increased investment in prevention, public health and spending that supports population health.