Chris Mahony 18 October 2021

Think-tank makes call for wellbeing budgets

Think-tank makes call for wellbeing budgets image

The Government should introduce ‘wellbeing budgets’ that look beyond gross domestic product (GDP) to reduce regional health inequalities, a think-tank has urged.

A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research called for a £35bn public health budget after publishing a fresh analysis of health inequalities in England, which revealed life expectancy gaps of up to 14 years between different towns and cities.

The report warned devolution and the new integrated care systems will have little impact on these inequalities without fundamental reform and investment.

It said this should include building policy around the Office for National Statistics’ health index – as well as GDP.

IPPR associate fellow Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard said: ‘Investment and resources are required but [they] must be targetted and be proportionate to need.

'There is a critical role for data and localised information in identifying the areas of most need, and ensuring those communities are able to access the funds required to rebalance, rebuild and realise the opportunities that good health brings.’

The report pointed to the introduction of a ‘wellbeing budget’ in New Zealand, which commits 5% of public spending to a broadly-defined public health drive.

This includes vocational training to improve employment opportunities and an emphasis on better housing, alongside conventional public health metrics such as mental health and children’s wellbeing.

A similar 5% figure would release £35bn for investment in England, the IPPR has calculated, to fund programmes that recognised the impact of education, training and employment.  

Chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, Cllr David Fothergill, said: ‘It is vital we act now and drive forward programmes that prevent people becoming ill … including investing in various council services such as tackling unemployment, providing better housing and promoting access to green space.

'The upcoming Spending Review is an opportunity to realise this shared ambition with government, to level up the future health chances of our communities and build back better from the pandemic.’

Social care reform: what lies ahead? image

Social care reform: what lies ahead?

Sally Warren lays out four principles that should be at the centre of a ‘radically realistic’ White Paper on social care reform and asks if its vision will be the right one?
A bold local route to better mental health image

A bold local route to better mental health

Local Living Well sites put people with complex mental health needs in control of their support and encourages them to set their own recovery goals. The programme is proud of its success, says Tally Daphu.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Independent non-executive members of proposed NHS Integrated Care Boards

Do you have the vision to shape the future of health and care for people in your area? Nationwide
Recuriter: NHS

Lead Community Protection Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£37722 - £40869 per annum + value award of £2,472 per annum
2 x Lead Community Protection OfficersCommunity Protection Team(PO3 plus an incremental value award of £2,472 per annum) Permanent Our Community Prote England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

School Organisation Project Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£41,952- £48,663
We’re giving a platform to people inside and outside our community. Because, we’re not just home to the UK’s fast-growing economy. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Service Manager (Referral and Assessment)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£60,426 to £74,202 per annum
Can you inspire, encourage, and develop excellent social work practice to make a real difference in the lives of children and young people? Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Asset Management Team Administrator

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£26,544 - £30,618 per annum
The role is what you make it, and the more you put in, the bigger the difference you can make to... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue