NICE is key to achieving goals of the Marmot Review
NICE has had a major impact on improving life expectancy rates in England, and will play a key role in continuing to drive down health inequalities, according to commissioners of the Marmot Review.
The Marmot Review, led by Sir Michael Marmot, director of the International Institute for Society and Health at University College London, is published today and sets out the most effective ways of reducing health inequalities in England from 2010.
Although life expectancy has improved dramatically over the last 10 years, with men in the bottom quarter of society seeing their life expectancy increase by almost three years, there are still people in England who are living with ill-heath.
Unless action is taken to reduce the social gradient in health - the lower a person's social position, the worse his or her health - productivity losses will cost the country £31-33 billion every year, while additional NHS healthcare costs will be well in excess of £5.5 billion per year.
The review, which was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health, makes six key recommendations to try and address this gradient which focus on giving children the best start in life, enabling all children, young people and adults to maximise their capabilities, creating fair employment and good work for all, ensuring a healthy standard of living for all, developing healthy and sustainable places and communities and strengthening the role and impact of health prevention.
Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Public Health Excellence Centre at NICE, said: “Since 2005, NICE has produced guidance on a range of public health topics using the social gradient approach as a starting point. We have either published, or are in the process of developing, public health guidance covering all the six key areas highlighted by this review.”
Speaking at the launch of the review in central London, Professor Ian Diamond, chief executive of the Economic and Social Research Council and a commissioner of the review, praised the work already done by NICE which has helped to improve life expectancy rates over the past few years.
“We are building on great foundations. It is now a question of moving forward and I think that NICE will be a major part of this.
“NICE has done an enormous amount of work in terms of identifying strategies like smoking cessation and the use of statins that can help to reduce inequalities.”
Fellow commissioner Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians, added: “I was delighted when NICE decided to get involved in setting up a programme of public health work that focuses on smoking and alcohol. It has been far too easy for politicians to say that these are lifestyle choices. But in fact they are not choices when you are dealing with things like nicotine, which is the second most addictive drug in society, and the constant pressures on people to drink. NICE's interventions are really welcome.”
11 February 2010
This page was last updated: 14 April 2010