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Putting People At The Heart Of Health

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

A new framework for action on social marketing and public health was published by the Department of Health. Ambitions for Health sets out how we will use evidence of what motivates people to help them lead healthier lives through targeted action. This builds on the success of programmes like Health Trainers, which provides one-to-one support to help individuals tackle health issues.

People are ambitious for their own health and for the health of their family. This framework shares that ambition, ensuring that we use evidence and our understanding about people to design and deliver effective interventions.

The new framework for social marketing is based on four key areas:

* Health Capacity: Increasing the skills and knowledge of public health professionals through a series of conferences, seminars, and research materials.

* Health Insight: What motivates people to change their behaviour. A new 'life stage segmentation model' will be live by Summer 2009, which provides a '360-degree picture' of the population and individual behaviour across issues including obesity, drug and alcohol misuse, and smoking. A new 'one stop research shop' will also bring together a vast array of useful data in one place.

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* Health Innovations: Putting social marketing into action locally, nationally, and regionally. Learning from the successes of programmes like Health Trainers and Life Checks will inform future innovative ways to improve people's health.

* Health Partnerships: We have established a ?1 million per annum partnerships capacity building fund to provide local and regional support for building partnerships.

Research suggests that 86% of people think that the Government should intervene to prevent illness by providing information and advice, but 89% of people think individuals are responsible for their own health1. This proves the need to find new ways of empowering people to make the choices themselves.

Public Health Minister, Dawn Primarolo said:

"Social marketing puts people at the heart of policy-making and is vital to improving public health. This framework illustrates our long-term commitment to a new way of working, and will help the commercial, public and third sectors to deliver health-related behavioural interventions."

Dr Jeff French, Director of the National Social Marketing Centre said:

"We are delighted to support Ambitions for Health and the Department of Health's vision for social marketing in England. In particular we commend the strategy in responding to the recommendations outlined in the It's our Health review prepared by the National Social Marketing Centre on behalf of the National Consumer Council."