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More funding for prevention before the NHS goes bust! Time for a prevention-led model to rebuild the nation’s health

British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT)

2 min read Partner content

BANT 2024 Election Manifesto – A call for change!

Healthcare funding has not kept pace with demand and cost pressures within the NHS have left it at imminent risk of collapse.

In 2021, total healthcare expenditure in the UK was calculated as £280.7 billion, equating to £4,188 per person with just 5-6% allocated for preventive care, eventually doubling in response to the pandemic (1).

If the NHS was only dealing with acute care this provision may be considered adequate. However, obesity alone costs the NHS 58 billion a year, equivalent to 20% of the annual expenditure. (2) Chronic diseases are now demanding far more of the healthcare budget .

In the US, 86% of health care costs are attributable to chronic disease, creating an unfinanceable epidemic (3). The UK is following a similar trajectory. In the US, 50% of the population is living with a chronic disease whilst in the UK the  45.7% of men and 50.1% of women report having a long-standing chronic health problem (4).

BANT is calling for the Government to increase funding provisions to facilitate the NHS transition towards a prevention-led model and relieve the pressure on General Practitioners, who too often are the front line in chronic care.

We need funding now to invest in long-term initiatives to change the current health trajectory. Funding, together with an expansion of the workforce would pave the way for a prevention-led model to bring in experts in nutrition and lifestyle medicine to focus on diet-induced chronic illness and allow for:

  • An expansion of social prescribing to facilitate referrals to Professional Standards Authority (PSA) -accredited nutrition practitioners.
  • Funding of nutrition consultations for patients with food-mediated illnesses.
  • Introduction of government-funded healthy food prescriptions to empower GPs to prescribe healthy whole foods.

Download the full manifesto here or access our online flipbook.

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