• The greatest influences on people's health and wellbeing come from outside health care. They include factors such as education, employment, housing and community. 
  • During 2017 the Health Foundation will begin implementing a long-term strategy to improve people's health in the UK.
  • This document introduces eight key themes that underpin the strategy.

Download Healthy lives for people in the UK. An accompanying Resources guide is also available.

Good health is an asset. It is necessary for a prosperous and flourishing society. The greatest influences on our wellbeing and health are factors such as education and employment, housing, and the extent to which community facilitates healthy habits and social connection. Access to health care could account for as little as 10% of a population’s health and wellbeing. While equipping health care systems to provide safe, timely and effective care is as important as ever, this is far from sufficient on its own to improve people’s health in the UK. During 2017, we are starting to implement our long-term strategy to bring about better health for people in the UK.

The aims of the strategy are to:

  • change the conversation so the focus is on health as an asset, rather than ill health as a burden
  • promote national policies that support everyone’s opportunities for a healthy life
  • support local action to address variations in people’s opportunities for a healthy life.

The strategy has been developed through extensive formal and informal engagement with multiple stakeholders. This engagement has highlighted that the impact of our strategy will not rely on simply ‘what’ the Foundation chooses to focus on as much as ‘how’ we approach the challenge. Drawing on the insights gathered so far, we have identified eight themes to guide our strategy to improve people’s health in the UK. We outline these themes in this document and why we think they are important.

Resources guide

In the course of developing the themes that guide our strategy we have come across a number of useful resources and case studies. Our Resources guide brings them together as they provide useful background to our strategy.

Further reading

Healthier lives: our plans for 2017

Twelve months ago, the Health Foundation set out to explore our contribution to enabling everyone in the UK to live a healthy life. Starting with an international seminar in Salzburg, the year unfo...

Blog

Jo Bibby

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