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January 26, 2024
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ADPH President on Labour’s Child Health Action Plan

In this week’s New Statesman, ADPH President, Greg Fell, who is DPH for Sheffield City Council joins other public health experts in reacting to Labour’s proposals on improving children’s health and wellbeing:

“Children have a right to good health and the benefits it brings. To make that happen we need to address the root causes of issues, as well as their symptoms.

“Children’s physical and mental well-being is shaped significantly by their environment – that means their homes, schools, towns, what they are exposed to and how easy it is to access resources that benefit health.

“Governments therefore need to consider the impact on health with every policy decision, regardless of whether it is labelled a “health” issue. Labour’s commitment to creating a society where good health is the norm is very welcome and the promise of tougher restrictions on harmful products is a definite step in the right direction – only by shifting towards protection, prevention and early intervention can we hope to have happy and healthy children.

“However, it is important to remember that treatment, while incredibly important, isn’t a magic bullet. To tackle issues like mental health, oral health and obesity, we need a whole family approach where everyone involved at every level is trained in preventing, identifying and supporting issues before treatment is ever needed.

“Here, local expertise is critical, and whoever the next government is must ensure national strategies are given sufficient funding at a local level to empower those who make a difference, so that giving children the best start in life really is a priority.”

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