Key points

  • This briefing makes the case for the nation’s health to be viewed as an asset that requires long-term investment for our society to prosper. 
  • It also describes a research programme, funded by the Health Foundation, that will assess the effect of an individual’s health on their social and economic outcomes.

The Health Foundation believes health should be viewed as an asset to be invested in. In this briefing, we ask, what is the social and economic value of maintaining and improving people’s health?

Individuals place more value on being healthy than on factors like income or careers, but societal goals are still described in terms of income, employment and economic growth. Too often, policymaking is short-term and narrowly focused on GDP-based metrics – with the social and economic value of health overlooked.

The biggest influences on people’s health are wider social determinants including their quality of housing and education, access to good quality work and affordable food.

The Health Foundation wants to see more action on the strategies that help people stay healthy. To increase the evidence base, the Health Foundation is funding a research programme on the social and economic value of health.

Cite this publication

Marshall L, Finch D, Cairncross L, Bibby J, 'The nation's health as an asset'. Health Foundation; 2018 (https://www.health.org.uk/publications/the-nations-health-as-an-asset)

Programme

The Social and Economic Value of Health

Programme

Our programme exploring the impact of health on the social and economic outcomes of individuals and...

You might also like...

News

New Artificial Intelligence projects funded to tackle health inequalities

News

NHSX’ NHS AI Lab and the Health Foundation have today awarded £1.4 million to four projects to...

Event

Webinar: Health in early years – how can we improve opportunities to live a healthy life?

Event

Join us for this webinar to hear fresh insights – and their implications for policy – from two...

Register

Blog

The challenge of going green: creating a more sustainable Health Foundation

Blog

As a funder, investor and a workplace, environmental sustainability should be a 'green thread'...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

Our #REALCentre analysis shows that to meet demand and recover from the pandemic, over the next decade the NHS work… https://t.co/YcGMwZKnAw

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more