BGS comments on creation of new Office for Health Promotion

30 March 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care announced on 29 March that the health promotion functions of Public Health England will be transferred to a new Office for Health Promotion in the autumn of 2021.

The new agency will be responsible for tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity. This agency will work alongside the new UK Health Security Agency which will be responsible for planning for, preventing and responding to external threats to the nation’s health, such as future pandemics.

Dr Jennifer Burns, President of the British Geriatrics Society, said:

On the eve of the dissolution of Public Health England, we welcome clarity from the Government regarding where responsibility for prevention and health promotion will lie in the future. Prevention is the cornerstone of older people’s healthcare – just as it’s never too early to adopt good habits, it’s also never too late. Frailty is preventable if older people are supported to eat well, be physically active, stay connected with friends and family, and to access the housing, care and equipment they need to stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.

Therefore it is vital that older people are included in all aspects of the services provided by the new agency. Those planning health promotion services must consider how they will be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of older people and address the many inequalities that they currently experience. We look forward to working with the new Office for Health Promotion to ensure that the entire population is supported to be as healthy as possible throughout their life.”