To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department has made an assessment of behavioural changes among adult males in reporting their own medical health issues over the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement.
No such assessment has been made. However, there are a number of programmes funded by the Government which are likely to have a differential impact on men’s health, given evidence that men may be less likely to seek help with health problems. For example, the Government has funded the Time to Change anti-stigma campaign, which challenges attitudes towards mental health. Time to Change launched the ‘In your corner’ campaign this year which is specifically aimed at encouraging men to talk about mental health. Another example is heart disease: the British Heart Foundation states that men are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease at an earlier age than women.
In 2016 NHS RightCare launched the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Optimal Value Pathway, which aims to reduce unwarranted variation to improve people's health and lessen inequalities in health access, experience and outcomes. In addition, local authorities offer the NHS Health Check to all adults aged 40-74 who do not have certain pre-existing health conditions; the Health Check therefore offers an opportunity to engage with men who might otherwise not be seen by health services. Public Health England’s One You campaign aims to improve health by encouraging adults to change their lifestyles and adopt healthier behaviours. In addition, the Men’s Health Forum are a member of the voluntary, community and social enterprise Health and Wellbeing Alliance, a group of 21 organisations and consortia which aims to bring the voice of the sector into policy making in the Department, NHS England and Public Health England.
The life expectancy of both males and females continues to rise; whilst there remains a gap between female and male life expectancy, this gap is closing.