NHS Public Health Walking and Cycling

Demos have written the following in their publication “Holistic Government”:

The core problem for government is that it has inherited from the nineteenth century a model of organisation that is structured around functions and services rather than around solving problems. Budgets are divided into separate silos for health, education, law and order and so on.

The vertical links between departments and agencies in any one field and professional groups such as the police, teachers, doctors and nurses are strong.

The horizontal links are weak or non-existent.1

Beck writes:

The effect of changes in physical exercise on progression of musculoskeletal disability in seniors has rarely been studied2

I must note that the above are old comments, but my impression is that these issues are not really being tackled!

But are not issues of active travel, primarily walking and cycling, critical issues for commissioners interested in sustainability?

Do not the NHS, PHE and commissioners have critical duties to work very closely with their partners in highways engineering and planning to enable sustainable cities?

I am unclear that cycling and walking are understood as sustainability issues! I recommend starting in a town like Stevenage.

How might commissioners assist? Hint, solutions are about whole systems3, neighbourhoods4, equality audits5, and concepts like ecological public health6!

  1. Perri, 6. Holistic Government. Demos (1997). at <http://www.demos.co.uk/files/holisticgovernment.pdf?1240939425&gt;
  2. Berk, D. R., Hubert, H. B. & Fries, J. F. Associations of Changes in Exercise Level With Subsequent Disability Among Seniors: A 16-Year Longitudinal Study. Journals Gerontol. Ser. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. 61, 97–102 (2006).
  3. Meadows, D. H. Thinking in Systems: A Primer. (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008). at <https://books.google.com/books?id=CpbLAgAAQBAJ&pgis=1&gt;
  4. Gehl, J. Cities for People. (Island Press, 2013). at <http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=lBNJoNILqQcC&pgis=1&gt;
  5. Durdle, C. Lived Experience | Clive Durdle’s Blog on WordPress.com. at <https://clivedurdle.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/lived-experience/&gt;
  6. Rayner, G. & Lang, T. Ecological Public Health: Reshaping the Conditions for Good Health. (Routledge, 2013). at <https://books.google.com/books?id=BUj95l7api4C&pgis=1&gt;


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