Health Matters: Prevention – A Life Course Approach


The latest edition of Health Matters, PHE’s skilled useful resource, focuses on taking a life course strategy to the prevention of sick well being and explores the proof base for this strategy. The useful resource signposts to evidence-based interventions and instruments, in addition to to analysis and monitoring strategies.

This weblog gives a abstract of the total version’s content material.

What’s a life course strategy?

An individual’s bodily and psychological well being and wellbeing are influenced all through life by the broader determinants of well being, that are a various vary of social, financial and environmental elements, alongside behavioural threat elements which regularly cluster within the inhabitants, reflecting actual lives.

These elements may be categorised as protecting elements or threat elements.

Addressing the broader determinants of well being will assist enhance total well being by optimising the situations into which persons are born, dwell and work. Quite than specializing in a single situation at a single life stage, a life course strategy considers the important phases, transitions and settings the place giant variations may be made in selling or restoring well being and wellbeing.

Adopting the life course strategy means figuring out key alternatives for minimising threat elements and enhancing protecting elements via evidence-based interventions at key life phases, from preconception to early years and adolescence, working age, and into older age.

Well being inequalities throughout the life course

Systematic variation within the protecting and threat elements of well being are social inequalities. These are sturdy and chronic drivers of well being inequalities, resulting in differing trajectories and outcomes over the course of an individual’s life. This could affect life expectancy and wholesome life expectancy.

Some persons are impacted extra by the unfavourable influences of well being, resulting in shorter life expectancy and extra years residing with incapacity.

By altering insurance policies, environments and societal norms, inequalities affecting the life course trajectory may be diminished, which may benefit the entire inhabitants throughout the lifespan, in addition to future generations.

PHE has produced a series of evidence papers on native motion on well being inequalities throughout the life course, and along with companions have a health inequality collection comprising complete proof, sources and steering to assist discount of well being inequalities in nationwide, regional and native areas.

The life course strategy and native motion

To realize the specified outcomes of the life course strategy, nationwide insurance policies needs to be translated into native actions. With native authorities providers dealing with growing demand and a difficult monetary scenario, you will need to observe that the life course strategy doesn’t demand new or additional actions that may incur extra prices. Quite, it’s primarily based on the present obligations and dealing practices of native authorities, in addition to public well being obligations.

Native authorities are already taking sensible motion on prevention throughout the life span, and a few native authority-led built-in well being and wellbeing providers are addressing a number of threat elements in a extra complete method and are focusing on extra disadvantaged communities the place these elements are extra prevalent.

Alongside native authorities, the NHS additionally performs a significant function within the life course strategy, notably via service provision and their function in prevention.

Interventions throughout the life course

This edition of Health Matters units out really useful interventions throughout the life course chosen by PHE for native authorities, the NHS and commissioners. These are interventions that tackle a variety of public well being challenges, from vaccination to supporting psychological well being and emotional wellbeing, below the next phases of the life course:

  • preconception and changing into a mum or dad
  • infancy and early years (0-5)
  • childhood and adolescence (5-19)
  • working age (16-64)
  • ageing properly

Name to motion

Now could be the time to prioritise prevention of sick well being. Taking motion early, appropriately and collectively we will be certain that our kids have the perfect begin in life and are prepared to start out faculty, that our younger persons are supported in order that they enter maturity bodily and mentally resilient, prepared to start out work, that adults are capable of safe and keep job and a house, and that older adults have fulfilling, productive and related lives.

This edition outlines a number of calls to motion for utilizing the life course strategy to well being and wellbeing, in addition to instruments that PHE has produced to assist monitor and consider this.

By way of tackling well being inequalities throughout the life course, there are a number of actions that may be taken, for which PHE have related sources. These embrace:

  1. Building healthy and resilient communities
  2. Adopting a place-based approach to health
  3. Tackling housing and fuel poverty
  4. Taking action on poverty and health
  5. Taking action on health and justice

Go to the Health Matters area of GOV.UK or sign up to receive the latest updates through our e-bulletin. Should you discovered this weblog useful, you’ll be able to learn other Health Matters blogs.

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