• Public Health England chief says long term plan must have a “really big” prevention ambition
  • Duncan Selbie said the Five Year Forward View told a “fantastic story” about prevention, but this was never implemented
  • He said each workstream in the upcoming plan should prioritise prevention 

The NHS long term plan must have a large prevention ambition because the Five Year Forward View proposals were never implemented, according to a public health chief.

Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie said he is trying to get a “really big” prevention agenda into the key workstreams of the long term plan, which is due in November.

These include cancer, mental health, learning difficulties and autism, and cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

Mr Selbie, who was speaking at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester, said the forward view told a “fantastic story” about prevention, but it had never been implemented.

He told delegates that having a strong prevention agenda in each workstream will add up to a much bigger focus on prevention across the long term plan.

Mr Selbie added: “I am looking to get a really big prevention ambition into each of them [the workstreams] so when you add them up it is much more than the Five Year Forward View, that told a fantastic story that we never implemented.”

Mr Selbie also said integrated care systems were a good way to focus on prevention and bring the different systems such as the NHS and social care together.

He added: We need to be focused and we need to have considerable ambition, but we have got to measure the right things and organise in a way that delivers the right things through the ICSs.”

His comments come a day after NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens warned the health service had to “get serious” about tackling new threats to public health.

Mr Stevens said there was a new group of threats to public health, different from those of previous generations, including the rise of self harm and eating disorders in young people, as well as gambling addiction.

But he said addressing these problems will create the “headroom” the NHS needs to free up cash for new innovations.

In a statement released today, PHE said prioritising smoking cessation, cardiovascular disease and obesity in the long term plan will have a huge impact.

It said this could lead to reducing smoking prevalence to less than five per cent by 2030, and halving childhood obesity and the number of avoidable deaths from cardiovascular disease.