A new survey commissioned by Sanofi has revealed the scale of the preventative healthcare challenge in the UK, as around one quarter of those who say they are healthy (52%) don’t think it is necessary to stop smoking (24%), drink less than the recommended amount (27%) or get the right amount of exercise (28%) to maintain their healthy lifestyle. These figures highlight the scale of the challenge faced by the NHS Long Term Plan, which put the prevention of ill health at the heart of a sustainable NHS.
The overwhelming majority of respondents acknowledge that they have a responsibility to be healthy in order to reduce the burden on the NHS (85%), but today’s figures reveal that there remains a disconnect in terms of understanding around healthy behaviors.
The NHS Long Term Plan rightly prioritizes preventing ill health as a way of building a sustainable health service, but whilst individuals widely acknowledge their responsibility in maintaining good health, in many cases, people are still not in agreement about how to maintain that health.
What is critical now is how we work to turn this tide, both as individuals and as a collective. There is a need for the public, patients, Government, the health system and wider society, including employers, to acknowledge the role we all play in supporting maintenance of health. We not only need to support people to understand what healthy living is, but also help them access services and adopt practices that are available to prevent ill health. It has never been more important to partner with the public on their healthcare journey and empower them to lead their healthiest lives.”
Hugo Fry, Managing Director of Sanofi UK
Just 24% of eligible people said they would get the NHS Health Check in order to reduce the burden on the health service.
This UK survey forms part of a broader report on the ‘Power of Prevention’ which was launched today in a panel discussion on ‘Prevention and the Future of Health’, led by Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Care, and sponsored by Sanofi.
Other key figures include:
• Of those who had taken a prescribed medicine in the last three months:
- 47% on short-course prescriptions and 60% who have taken a prescription for a long-term condition didn’t read the label
- 23% and 41% respectively even forgot to take a dose
As part of Sanofi’s commitment to supporting people in the UK to live life to its full potential, the company continues to enhance its work environment for employees and will be piloting a health app to track healthy behaviors, along with implementing flexible working, activity-based work and dedicated rooms for health, wellbeing and contemplation. This supplements current programs such as mental health training, employee flu vaccinations and support for education and awareness with wellness clinics.