Health in All Policies - what's it all about?
Did you know that 50 per cent of the factors which determine the quality of a person’s health are social, economic and political? Taking healthy life expectancy as an example, people in the poorest neighbourhoods live on average seven years less long than those in the richest areas and can expect to live with 17 years of life-limiting illness.
Health professionals have had very little chance to influence those factors but a new Health in All Policies (HiAP) initiative by Public Health England (PHE) aims to change that.
Directors of public health will be working with colleagues and partners to speed up health equality and improvements by embedding positive health outcomes right across local authority policy areas. Critical in this era of budget pressures is the idea of creating win-wins - identifying how local policies can achieve health benefits without placing additional burdens on staff and financial resources.
Working in housing, we already recognise and support many of the links between health and housing but even here working with public health experts can reveal unexpected connections and opportunities.
To help get the HiAP approach started, a PHE resource pack is under development - it includes local case studies of how it has been adopted.
The West Midlands board is playing its part by developing a case study of the Walsall Health and Housing Partnership, to be included in the pack.
Let us know about your own experience of raising awareness of health benefits in policy and look out for HiAP work in your area.
Contacts: Cath Stubbings and Tosin Durojaiye via Sharon Hackett at CIH.