Further Drive To Improve The Nation’s Health Inequalities

Speaking to the Kings Fund, Lord Hunt of Kingsheath called for public health professionals to ensure that the health benefits of work are recognised and continue to form a key part of any strategy to improve the health of the nation. Lord Hunt highlighted the recently published research that proves that being in work is beneficial for mental and physical health but that being out of work can shorten life expectancy.

Lord Hunt said: “Work is good for individuals, their families and, by lifting people out of poverty, it also benefits communities, increasing prosperity while reducing health and wealth inequalities. While the benefits of encouraging people to give up smoking or eat more healthily are well accepted, it is less well recognised that being out of work can make you ill and shorten your life expectancy.

“This is why we have been working across government to develop the Health, Work and Well-being Strategy.  This strategy recognises not only the importance of improving the health of the working age population to help people to enter, remain in and return to work, but also the potential of work and the workplace to improve general health.

“I urge public health specialists to continue to tackle working age health issues through their public health strategies, just as I urge employers, healthcare professionals, trade unions, insurers and individuals themselves to play their part. Only through all people working together will we achieve our joint goal.”