Citizens know that lifestyle and education play an important role in social and health outcomes. The social determinations of healthcare had become apparent in the late 90s, if you eat well, stay in education and maintain full time employment; you lived a longer and more fulfilled life.
In 2010 only 13% of the UK population are engaged, informed and active about wellness, 30% is the the average for the developed world. This gap will lead to a new market in commercial wellness provision as the NHS outsources some services to save money. By staying well and being engaged with their health, individuals are able to avoid the risks and costs associated with the National Health Service.
For the next 10 years the focus needs to be on education, wellness and employment. We need a cultural change in the UK, no longer can the NHS be seen a safety net into which we jump early and often.
A rise in the numbers of engaged people could save the NHS £10Bn a year in running costs. Engaged individuals consume two-thirds of the resources of the unengaged, and by increasing the number from 6 to 20 Million the NHS can reduce its costs. £(30% of NHS Costs) x (1/3 of NHS Budget)= £Saving.
One concern is that as the number of engaged citizens rise then those that are careless about their health will lead more marginalised lives, perhaps having to put up with poorer standards of care. For their sake we need to help ourselves to help the NHS to them.