Prevention and the future of health

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Care
Monday 21st January 2019, 09:30
- 11:00

Reform was delighted to host this panel discussion, led by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Care to explore how everyone in society can contribute to the prevention of ill health. This event brought together around 100 attendees, including senior policy-makers, public service leaders and business leaders.

Speakers included:

  • Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Care
  • Dr Rupy Aujla, GP and Founder, The Doctor's Kitchen
  • Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive, British Heart Foundation
  • Hugo Fry, Managing Director, Sanofi UK

Professor Dame Sally Davies stressed the importance of a joined-up approach to prevention and called for investment in structural and environmental interventions (e.g. sugar levy) to tackle wide-population health issues. Panellists agreed on the need to develop strategies to narrow health inequalities and tackle the social determinants of ill health and how the creation of a Composite Health Index could ensure that progress is measured and tracked.

Dr Rupy Aujla discussed the need for public health to receive more attention in the medical degree, highlighting that cultural change and practical support for doctors must be at core of these efforts. Simon Gillespie stressed the importance of community-based approaches, whilst also highlighting the importance of mental health resilience for long-term health and wellbeing. Hugo Fry discussed the dangers of falling into the trap of complacency, citing declining vaccination rates in the UK and called for the prioritisation of both primary and secondary prevention. The panel went on to discuss the need to balance wide structural interventions with localised change, and the role employers, communities and individuals must play in encouraging healthier lifestyles and behaviours.  

This event was kindly organised, funded and supported by Sanofi: