The Government has published a consultation into proposals for tackling the causes of preventable ill health in England. The green paper – Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s – was published by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Cabinet Office on Monday 22 July.

BAPEN welcomes the green paper which outlines the goal of embedding prevention-based approaches at the heart of national and local Government decision-making, with the aim of shifting the health system away from just treating illness, and towards preventing health problems in the first place.

Whilst we are disappointed that the paper does not mention the prevention of malnutrition (undernutrition) specifically, it is reassuring to see that the overall focus is on prevention. Several of the themes within the consultation document address the many health and social problems that are risk factors for malnutrition and cause vulnerability to the condition. We are also pleased to see that the importance of screening has been recognised within the paper.

Dr Trevor Smith, President of BAPEN, said, “This green paper is a good start to making the 2020s a decade of prevention, which complements BAPEN’s efforts to maximise implementation of screening for malnutrition across the NHS and social care systems. I look forward to responding to the consultation on behalf of BAPEN and its members and hope that this shift to a preventative mindset within the health and social care systems will positively impact patient outcomes.”

The consultation closes at 11:59pm on 14 October 2019, find out more about how to respond here.