The Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, yesterday published details of the Government’s public health framework. This has been published following a widespread consultation on the Government’s public health white paper. The paper ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Improving outcomes and supporting transparency’ outlines 66 different indicators that local authorities will be judged on in terms of influencing public health.
There are three indicators of relevance to sport:
1. Physical Activity Indicator (measured by Active People Survey)
- Proportion of adults achieving at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week in accordance with UK Chief Medical Officer recommended guidelines on physical activity – number of adults doing at least 150 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
- Proportion of adults classified as inactive – number of adults who do less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more
2. Utilisation of Greenspace for exercise/health reasons (measured by Natural England Monitoring Engagement with the Natural Environment Survey)
- Inclusion of this indicator is recognition of the significance of accessible green space as a wider determinant of public health. There is strong evidence to suggest that green spaces have a beneficial impact on physical and mental wellbeing and cognitive function through both physical access and usage.
- This will be measured by the number of people reporting that they have taken a visit to greenspace for health or exercise over the previous seven days over the total number of respondents to the survey.
3. Excess weight in Adults (measured nationally by Health Survey for England, soon to be self reported height and weight via APS)
- Number of adults classified as overweight or obese
As was announced in 2010, the Government plans to introduce ring fenced funding of approximately £4bn per annum for local authorities to improve public health levels. By having an indicator on physical activity, it will allow local authorities to invest in projects that are designed to get people more active. Other indicators within the framework include measures on breast feeding, sexual health and preventative treatments such as screening. Each year the most successful local authorities will be eligible for extra funding through a ‘Health Premium’, thereby incentivising local authorities to invest in projects that have tangible outcomes. The indicators which are prioritised in each local authority will be determined by their Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and subsequent Health and Wellbeing strategies.
Following this announcement Sport England will be working with officials at the DH and with representatives at a local authority level to ensure that stakeholders are informed of the value that sport and physical activity can deliver in improving public health.
It should also be noted that these changes will only be fully approved when the Health Bill, currently going through parliament, is enacted.
The full document can be found here