I suspect most professionals in the health service do see that we need to shift resources. However it becomes much more difficult when it comes down to closing hospitals. Political have traditionally shied away from closures but the only way to get resources into prevention and into one community care and integrated care and health services is by closures.
So Hunt is right to highlight these issues. A stark reminder of the problem is the news in today's Times about the rising problems of obesity in the young. Old friend Simon Gillespie, ACEVO member and CEO of the British Heart Foundation was commenting on the survey they have conducted with Oxford University on the eating habits of the young It makes bleak reading as he says. The majority of kids are not getting their 5 a day and most eat chocolate on a daily basis. So not surprisingly kids are getting obese.
Diabetes is the fastest growing LTC. There are 3.8m people with diabetes in the UK. By 2025 it is estimated this will grow to 5 m. Diabetes care already costs 10% of the NHS budget. In the next 25 years this could rise to 17% unless urgent action is taken. (Stats taken from the ACEVO prevention taskforce report found here)
We urgently need to move more resources into organisations like Diabetes UK, who work with people with diabetes on control of the disease by exercise and healthy eating.
And Jeremy Hunt is right to call for changes in working practices in hospitals and in GP practises to provide more consistent care across the seven day week. So although he has come in for sustained abuse in his year as Secretary of State he must remain on message. This issue ought to transcend party politics Whoever wins the Election will face the £30b challenge. Only reform will help preserve the core principle of a free universal service.
I'm just back from a weekend in Barnsley. With the “in laws". Yorkshire is a brilliant county and Barnsley, a town that has a reputation for pits and grime actually covers some magnificent countryside. A pub lunch on Saturday looking over towards Nora Batty land. And on the way home we went to Renishaw Hall, the Sitwell’s house. So I end my widely read Blog with a charming photo of the Hound.