March 23, 2022 – He warned that some of the solutions would “require political capital” and were “not necessarily going to be immediately popular”.

Prof Whitty said the temptation was to “always pull the money towards curative services…because of the fact we didn’t do prevention 10 years ago”.

He called for a “very long term view” to be taken of the need for prevention, and claimed local leaders were “very good at thinking about the long term, because they’ll be living in the region where they make decisions for the rest of their lives very often”.

He added: “They do think about what would things be like in five-20 years, which can be a little harder for people working in central government where the incentive structures are rather different.”

Prof Whitty also warned of the that “many important areas of public health have either trodden water or gone backwards over the last two years”, adding that “we do need quite seriously to address them”.

He pointed to alcohol and obesity as two worsening public health issues while smoking rates had also gone up “in some groups” in the last two years.


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