Tool for GPs predicts public health savings to NHS

NHS organisations can now calculate the likely savings produced by efforts to improve public health such as cutting alcohol abuse and smoking using a novel tool.

The toolkit, developed by the National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) in conjunction with NICE and the DoH, allows health professionals to accurately judge the cost effectiveness of public health interventions.

These include tools to measure cost effectiveness of efforts around alcohol, obesity, bowel cancer screening, breastfeeding and smoking.

NSMC director John Bromley said: ‘As the economy struggles, the public sector can’t afford to ignore behaviour change. But nor can it afford interventions that do not represent good value for money.

‘Our tools will help health professionals prove to their funders that their work benefits both people and the public purse.’

The applications, available to download online, return ‘detailed financial and social results for both organisations and individual clients’.

They elucidate the likely health gain from an intervention as well as monetary value and savings to the public sector.

The tools also show predictions of deaths averted and money saved across other sectors outside health. For instance, the reduction in street cleaning costs from fewer smokers.

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