Public Health England has published its strategy for 2020 to 2025, setting out its priorities for the next five years.
The strategy says there is a 19-year difference in years spent in good health between the most affluent and the poorest communities.
In his foreword, chief executive Duncan Selbie says: “When we think about good health, the vast majority of us think about our NHS and the care we get through hospitals and GPs.
“But the NHS of itself cannot improve the health of the nation. This depends more substantially on a prosperous economy and the choices that we make as individuals and families.”
The 10 main priorities identified in the strategy are: smoke-free society; healthier diets, healthier weights; cleaner air; better mental health; best start in life; effective responses to major incidents; reduced risk from antimicrobial resistance; predictive prevention; enhanced data and surveillance capabilities; and a new national science campus.
PHE said it chose these priorities because it sees major implications for the public’s health, there is substantial scope to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities, it is well-placed to make a significant contribution and it can generate a good return on investment.
The strategy also outlines key opportunities to improve public health.
These include realising the potential of new technologies, harnessing progress in science and research and supporting system partners.