Please login or register to print this page.


Royal College of Physicians

News & Views

RCP analyses public health proposals

Responding to the Public Health White Paper Healthy Lives, Healthy People published recently by the Department of Health, Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians said: “The white paper gives a clear overview of how this government plans to improve public health, and is to be welcomed for attempting to bring to the field a much needed strategic focus and coherence.

However, the RCP is disappointed by the lack of detail, especially around how to deal with the threats posed by alcohol misuse, obesity and smoking. We wait keenly to see if the promised subsequent strategies will fill in the gaps.”

On the government’s plans for a new public health service, he said: “The RCP welcomes the government’s proposals to put public health on a more secure footing. Long term, the future of the NHS can only be guaranteed if we become more effective at preventing ill health. A ring fenced budget, robust workforce development plans and a challenging outcomes framework will do much to change perceptions of public health, and greatly increase the capacity of its workforce to make a difference. However public health is highly contingent on external factors. A difficult economy and less money for public services will make it a more challenging environment both in terms of managing the inevitably greater demand for public health programmes, and then in leveraging whatever community resources remain to meet them.”

“We agree that if they achieve good results it makes sense to adopt less burdensome regulations where possible. However, on a whole raft of issues it has been clearly demonstrated that a laissez faire attitude does not work, either in terms of promoting responsible behaviour among the manufacturers and retailers of potentially harmful products or in creating an environment that would allow individuals to make healthier choices.”

“It took the last government at least six years to recognise this and then gather the political courage to start tackling some of the deeper seated problems with robust, population wide, policies.  It would be a great shame if the new government were to take just as long to reach similar conclusions, whilst in the interim more people become ill.”

For a comprehensive overview of the RCP’s policy priorities, see:

Read the white paper online:

Published on: December 9, 2010

Members Area

Log in or Register now.



Subscribe to our RSS feed


Sign up for our regular email newsletters & be the first to know about fresh articles and site updates.


    None Found


  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
  • Anticoagulation Europe
  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

You are not logged in

You need to be a member to print this page.
Sign up for free membership, or log in.

You are not logged in

You need to be a member to download PDF's.
Sign up for free membership, or log in.