Mark Whitehead 28 November 2017

Whitehall should invest £65m in health boards to support Industrial Strategy

The Government's new Industrial Strategy must recognise the importance of public health in economic growth, a group representing local government and business has warned.

The New Local Government Network (NLGN) says the Industrial Strategy white paper published this week recognises the role of people as a key driver of productivity but largely ignores the role of public health.

It says the Government must acknowledge health as an economic asset that boosts workforce productivity.

More than 85% of senior public health officers in a survey said economic development departments were not as engaged as they could be.

The NLGN wants £65m to be invested in health and wellbeing boards to carry out pilot schemes on investing in innovative public health.

Lucy Terry, senior researcher at NLGN and the report's lead author, said: 'Our research found plenty of evidence that public health teams had made substantial inroads in addressing the wider determinants of health through their strong relationships with areas like social care – and this is a positive step forward.

'But several years on from the transfer, there needs to be stronger relationships between public health and economic development for productive growth.'

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