‘Public Health’ Funding Is Not Ring-fenced As Part Of The NHS: The Cabinet Reshuffle

I found out today that ‘Public Health’ is not part of the NHS. (H/T whoever – I read so much that I cannot remember who) Oh wait – it was Dick P as part of a post called ‘The Power of Ignorance’:


In it, right at the end, he linked to an article in the Guardian (where-else?):


Actually, the Guardian article is just a rant, and quite a comical rant at that. Without reading the article over and over again, it is hard to point to the precise place where the logic breaks down. But how about this gem:

Services to help men, women and children stop smoking and to control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including Aids are already a mess

Smoking and Aids etc are equated. I find that extremely odd. I find it hard to understand how Local Authorities could do anything about Aids, no matter how much money they had available.

The author was complaining about cuts in funding from Central Government. Why should that be a problem? After all, LAs could always increase Council Taxes to persecute smokers and spread Aids. You see, the phrase ‘control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including Aids’ could just as easily mean ‘encourage’ the spread, for the word ‘control’ means very little in terms of who is having sex with whom. In fact, the very juxtaposition of the two shows that the author is very confused.

The good news, however, is that the author highlighted the fact that ‘Public Health’ is not part of the NHS. But why should it be? What have sewers, industrial effluents, diesel fumes, etc, got to do with the NHS?

Is there a clue there as to how the NHS could be reformed? Take all the lifestyle bullying out of the NHS and load it all onto ‘Public Health’ – and then defund ‘Public Health’! Does it matter if hospitals are forbidden to sell/use sugary drinks? Our local hospital stopped selling anything but ‘diet’ drinks ages ago. Erm… but they still sold coffee, and provided sugar, and sold sweet deserts. There again we see the split personality; either you make some money from the cafe by selling stuff that people enjoy, or you risk losing money.

Why should shysters and snake oil salesmen be confined to the Wild West? They exist here and now! They exist in the form of ASH ET AL.

The Cabinet Reshuffle is not entirely disconnected from the above. Smoke and mirrors. I see that Jeremy Hunt begged May to let him remain as Health Sec, with enhanced duties – his new title is ‘Sec of State for health and social care’. I don’t think that he needed to beg. There again, the idea that the discredited and silly MP, Milton, could have coped with the intellectual requirements of Sec of State for Health was always jocular.

In general terms, the reshuffle has been a non-event. Why should it have been otherwise? Is it likely that May ever considered changing any of the main players in the Brexit arena? So what has she done? She has replaced a few ministers who were leaving anyway, and added some new jobs, to be filled by a few new people. Perhaps that is the best way to run government. Disgraced ministers are quickly forgotten.

What I vaguely see is National Government hardening its attitude. Terrible errors were made by Cameron and his idea of ‘The Big Society’, which involved the Gov in splurging masses of money on ‘charities’. A friend of my daughter’s is involved with caring for the homeless. She accepts any donations of foodstuffs, provided that they are ‘safe’, clothing, etc. She is ‘on the front line’. And she does so voluntarily. But it is in the nature of government to want to make headlines by highlighting big initiatives.

I think that big charities, like CRUK (cancer research UK) cannot help but become corrupt. Why? Because they can do nothing about the incidence of cancer. It just happens quite rarely. Most old people die before cancer destroys the cells of their bodies. The problem is that many people think that CRUK is not a snake oil salesman. The same goes for all the other ‘charities’ which depend upon ‘death by X’, such as ‘heart disease’ (properly known as ‘heart failure’).

The proper answer from government is to accept the inevitable – people get old and die, for whatever reason. Stop blaming the inevitable upon some specific ‘disease’ – the inevitable will happen anyway.


8 Responses to “‘Public Health’ Funding Is Not Ring-fenced As Part Of The NHS: The Cabinet Reshuffle”

  1. smokingscot Says:

    Good point squire, CRUK is talking bull when they claim they can beat cancer. Two thirds of all cancers are just random typos, then there’s the inherited ones, leaving very little that can be avoided through exposure to environmental issues an a teeny weeny – I mean minute number that may be caused by lifestyle choices.


    And guess what, most of these lifestyle cancers happen in later life, mostly when we’re no longer fertile.

    In the overall scheme of things, they’re of zero consequence to the human species, sort of a Darwinism thing.

    • junican Says:

      The ‘delayed effect’ of smoking (cancer after 30 years smoking, etc) has always sounded suspect. Somewhere, ages ago, I read that every cell in your body is changed every seven years, so how can cells ‘remember’ what happened 30 years ago? It is more likely that the immune system deteriorates with age, and that any number of ‘bad habits’, as well as hereditary factors,might cause mutations which the immune system can no longer recognise and/or destroy.

  2. Rose Says:

    Smoking and Aids etc are equated. I find that extremely odd

    Not really, the original Creative Epidemiology phrase taken from Globalink Strategy Guides.

    “Smoking kills more people than heroin, cocaine, alcohol, AIDS, fires, homicide, suicide, and automobile accidents combined.”

    Repeated repetition down the years links the two.

    Messages Likely to Move Our Target Audience

    Numbers That “Sing”

    “Tobacco control advocates can develop motivating messages by presenting statistics in ways that convey scientific truths and also move an audience emotionally. This technique has been called “creative epidemiology” or “social math”—mathematics applied for a social purpose.

    Over a decade ago, public health economist Ken Warner used this technique in a message on the death toll of smoking: “Smoking kills more people than heroin, cocaine, alcohol, AIDS, fires, homicide, suicide, and automobile accidents combined.”

    This message is logically sound; it is based on scrupulous scientific data. But it conveys much more than facts.

    First, the message compares deaths from tobacco with deaths from other causes that readily command public action throughout the world, such as illicit drug use and AIDS. This comparison carries the “moral authority” that smoking merits at least the same level of public action. Second, the message associates death from smoking with death from other terrible scourges that arouse our compassion and fear. It thus meets all of Klein’s criteria for an effective advocacy message: It is logically persuasive, morally authoritative, and capable of evoking passion.”

    • junican Says:

      I can see why they used AIDS – evokes disgust. The whole objective was to promote disgust amongst non-smokers.
      I can’t help but feel that there is a section of the medical profession which is disgusted by illness, and that those people are the ones who get to the top.

      • Rose Says:

        You might equally say that more people who eat fish die than from “heroin, cocaine, alcohol, AIDS, fires, homicide, suicide, and automobile accidents combined.” simply because more people eat fish, it doesn’t mean that eating fish kills them.

      • junican Says:

        ‘Correlation does not equal causation’ covers it.

  3. Janet Huxley Says:

    The CEO of CRUK earns a quarter of a MILLION quid a year! I have a friend, and her partner earns £30k a year, raising money for CHARITY. Can’t stand the squandering of charity money. Give me the Sally Ann (Salvation Army) any day. That’s the ONLY charity I give to. They are amazing and do so much work behind the scenes and ease utter hardship and misery wherever and whenever they can

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