Replenishing our Roots: How the government can promote healthier, more productive places.
23 April 2023
This paper sets out a national framework for a localised population health approach that is based on prevention. It builds on CPP’s previous paper, Crumbling Foundations, and is intended to provoke debate amongst policymakers, service leaders and users. Over the last decade, there has been no progress on life expectancy or years lived in good health in England. There are large gaps between better and worse off places – women in the most deprived decile of local authorities can currently expect to live around four years fewer than in the least deprived.3 But it is possible to turn the tide on these trends: the Labour government of 1997 to 2010 succeeded in reducing inequalities in life expectancy between deprived places and the rest of the country. The exact mechanisms are unclear, but we do know that over that period, resources were targeted at socio-economically disadvantaged areas and groups and committed to a sustained policy drive to tackle the social and economic drivers of health like child poverty and education. A new plan to improve health in all places should similarly seek to direct resources towards tackling the socio-economic issues that we know to be fundamental to health, including child poverty, unemployment and education and training. However, this time, the vision for population health must be co-designed with regional leaders and communities and build on the recently constituted architecture of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs) which bring together a broad alliance of partners to improve the care, health and wellbeing of the local population. This paper sets out a rough framework and policy ideas for national government to support the delivery of healthy places, working with the assets and resources of local areas and leaders.