Former Health Minister to speak at The Watercooler Event

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Business for Health (B4H) will be hosting a free to attend panel session on 25th April at The Watercooler Event to launch its ‘Year On’ report, outlining the next phase of the Business Framework of Health, first set out in Framework for Health: Supporting businesses and employers in their role to enhance and level up health of the nation  launched with the support of Chris Whitty CMO in October 2021.

To kick start the session, Dame Carol Black will first make a 10-minute keynote address highlighting the proactive role that business can play – addressing the growing problem of workforce inactivity which is creating a drag on the UK economy.  She will then join a panel discussion to be chaired by Tina Woods, CEO of Business for Health, involving:

  • John Godfrey, Levelling Up Director, Legal & General, Chair, Business for Health
  • Sandra Dyball, Director, Health, Wellbeing and Benefits, Centrica.
  • Lord James Bethell, Former Health Minister

Attention on prevention

The panel will focus on the growing role of business in preventative health to reduce demand on the NHS and care system, the work that Business for Health has done to date in collaboration with its partners, and what the plans are to continue its work on the Business Framework for Health. 

The panel will look at what the solutions for the future will look like in workforce health.  Addressing long-term sickness and ‘stemming the flow’ of drop out from the labour market are key issues that will be discussed. 

The government measures recently announced in the Spring Budget are aimed at tackling Britain’s shrinking workforce. They are focused on helping people who are economically inactive back into work and stemming the increase of people who are moving into inactivity in the first place. 

While steps in the right direction, they fall short to address the long-term health crisis we face.  Health outcomes won’t improve unless people seek and receive appropriate and timely support after receiving a negative MOT.  SMEs may struggle to provide the right type of health intervention especially when the reasons for ill health are linked to wider determinants of health and systemic inequalities.

This signals the need to go beyond the role of employers in traditional occupational health and more into long-term prevention and health creation; and with this explore the other crucial roles in enhancing health and reducing harm that businesses have as producers, marketeers and investors. 

The next step: bringing “Health” into ESG investment

B4H will continue its work on the Business Framework of Health across the three pillars: 1) Workforce Health 2) Consumer Health and 3) Community Health. Their work to date has been underpinned by a significant research exercise to compile the evidence fast accumulating on the link between health and wealth as part of a research collaboration with Cambridge University involving some 35 experts including economists, business leaders, academics and policy makers.

B4H is meanwhile developing evidence and economic arguments to mobilise investor and business pressure to bring ‘Health’ into ESG investment: this work will support Missions 7 and 8 of “Levelling up”, inform new reporting tools and develop shared metrics across employer, business, and investor communities.

You can view the full agenda for the top quality, free to attend content and register to attend The Watercooler Event here.

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