A new information tool, Health Matters, has been launched today by Public Health England (PHE) to provide accurate and up-to-date information on key public health topics in order to support commissioning and delivering services across local areas.
The first Health Matters focuses on smoking cessation, as one of PHE’s ambitions is to see a tobacco-free generation by 2025. Despite a continuing decline in smoking rates, nearly one-in-five adults still smoke and around 90,000 11 to 15 year olds are regular smokers.
The resource was inspired by Vital Signs, a tool in the USA created by Centres For Disease Control and Prevention and is available across all of the states, providing the most reliable research in one place so that health professionals "can get the facts" rather than "be sent on a literature review", Duncan Selbie, chief executive of PHE, said at the launch as part of their annual conference.
"Today, the British version is Health Matters, the first of these launched today on tobacco, and the object - if people like them - is to then do something similar on other health problems like alcohol and hypertension," he added.
Speaking with Selbie at the event in Coventry, Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE national director for health and wellbeing, said: "It's a way of sytematically engaging with, and looking at, our existing data to ensure that we're creating our best knowledge, the best tools, the best sources of information that we have in one place, so we can tell a far more cohesive, comprehensive and impactful story on current issues."
Health matters: smoking and quitting in England is the first of a planned series of resources. Future editions will include other aspects of the seven PHE priorities, which were set out in the 2014 report From evidence into action. These include: tobacco, obesity, alcohol, antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis, early years and dementia.