- Long-term sickness has become a ‘serious fiscal threat,’ a new IPPR report warns
- There are now a record 2.6million British people out of work due to poor health
The levels of long-term sick leave from work pose a ‘serious’ threat to Britain’s public finances, a report warns.
Bosses at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) also insist that standards of healthcare have declined – despite increasing amounts of funding being ploughed into services.
The 90-page report comes after the IPPR’s Commission on Health and Prosperity conducted an audit of health and care services, which concluded that poor health is costing livelihoods as well as lives.
Long-term sickness has become a ‘serious fiscal threat’, the report says, with the number of people out of work due to poor health at an all-time high of 2.6million.
It adds: ‘There is no road to prosperity for this nation without tackling the tide of sickness head-on.
Long-term sickness has become a ‘serious fiscal threat’ with the number of people out of work due to poor health at an all-time high of 2.6 million
‘The number of deaths that could have been avoided with timely healthcare or public health interventions is much higher in the UK than in all other comparable European nations.
‘If the UK had a [similar] avoidable mortality rate, around 240,000 fewer people would have died in the decade from 2010.’
Long waits for healthcare and a failure to tackle obesity, couch potato lifestyles and smoking have fuelled the deaths, says the think-tank.
The IPPR found the quality of care nationally has got worse despite increased spending, leading the country to ‘spend more to get less’.
It is calling on the Government to take urgent action to deliver better value for money for taxpayers.
Reforming the NHS to change it from a ‘sickness service’ to a ‘prevention service’ would ‘avert killer costs’ and end ‘second-rate care’, the IPPR report says
Reforming the NHS to change it from a ‘sickness service’ to a ‘prevention service’ would ‘avert killer costs’ and end ‘second-rate care’, it adds.
Lord James Bethell, a former Tory health minister, said: ‘Sick Britain is costing us our lives, our livelihoods and harming the UK economy.
‘If we want to change course, we must stop pretending that the answers are always more hospitals and more acute staff. Instead, we must start taking action to reduce demand and need for healthcare, through prevention.’
Matthew Taylor, of the NHS Confederation, which represents healthcare organisations, said: ‘Investment that keeps people out of hospital and preventing ill health will save money in the long-term, support the economy and help to secure a sustainable, flourishing future for the NHS.’