Healthy Public Policy

Society, the environment, the economy and culture all have a major impact on health. Changing these for the better will improve the health of whole communities or populations.

Trying to influence these things is a big part of the Health Improvement Team’s job. By “lobbying”, educating and encouraging decision makers we can make sure they consider health when making any decisions.  

Sometimes this can involve changes in the law, usually to try and protect groups of people, e.g. minimum age for buying alcohol and tobacco or drink driving laws. It also involves more local changes, e.g. encouraging the local authority to fund new footpaths, or introducing parking restrictions to encourage walking.

Healthy public policy doesn’t have to be about introducing new laws – it can be about making small changes and thinking about health when making decisions, like considering transport links and paths when building new housing schemes.

This sort of change has a massive, long term impact on health, but it can take some time for the changes to happen.

If you want to know more...

Here are some links to Health Inequality briefing papers for more details: