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A new review, led by Professor Simon Capewell, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, states that spending cuts for NHS sexual health services and schemes for quitting smoking ‘will be a false economy, and actually cost us billions of pounds’.
Professor Simon Capewell is Vice-President for Policy for the UK Faculty of Public Health and a professor of clinical epidemiology at the University.
Professor Capewell is also a founder member of Action on Sugar, and a trustee for the UK Health Forum and for Heart of Mersey.
Rebecca Masters, Professor Capewell and colleagues reviewed 52 previous studies into the costs and benefits of various public health measures.
“This systematic review consistently suggests that local and national public health interventions are highly cost-saving.
“The UK government’s ‘efficiency savings’ thus represent a false economy which will generate many billions in additional future costs to the ailing NHS and wider UK economy.
“The recent UK increases in avoidable teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, homelessness and suicides are thus predictable and deeply worrying.
“Although our study draws on the experience of the UK public health system, there are implications for public health systems outside of the UK, which may be guided towards investment in prevention, and avoid harmful cuts in public health budgets.”
The full review, entitled ‘Return on investment of public health interventions: a systematic review’, can be found here http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2017/03/07/jech-2016-208141
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