Published: 04/03/2004, Volume II4, No. 5895 Page 24

In less than two years since Wanless I, the politics of health have changed massively. The government has discovered the 'choice' agenda in the NHS, but it has also been goaded into action on public health , driven both by fresh evidence of costly avoidable chronic diseases and other factors.

In his new report Derek Wanless argues that action, not warm words, are what is now needed.He calls for a new public health strategy.Health secretary John Reid has already promised white papers and not to be held back by the nanny state tag. Is real action on the cards? We shall see.

Dr Geof Rayner Chair UK Public Health Association