NHS and Social Care Commission

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:59 pm on 28th January 2016.

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Photo of Sarah Wollaston Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee 12:59 pm, 28th January 2016

Indeed. The data from Public Heath England are absolutely stark: from looking at the index of multiple deprivation and the incidence of childhood obesity, we can see that not only is there a large gap, but that that gap is widening. As part of the strategy, the Government must aim not only to lower overall levels of childhood obesity, but to narrow that gap, particularly by looking at measures that will help to do so. I thank the hon. Gentleman for making that point.

The right hon. Member for North Norfolk referred to the need for self-care, and we know that we need a much greater focus on how we can support people to improve their own health. If we are going to raise money for the whole health and care system, there are mechanisms to do so that will also help to prevent ill health in the future. One example is a sugary drinks tax, which could lever money into a very straitened public health budget to put in place measures that we know will help. We need the NHS to get on with prevention, and in my view we need more of the funding that is available to go into saving money for the future.