Heart Health Articles

New BMJ service will help deliver public health targets, UK

July 22, 2017

A new health intelligence service launched by the BMJ Group will help tackle the most important public health issues, such as smoking, drinking and obesity.

It comes as the government reveals the latest "health maps" showing the areas of England with the best and worst health.

Knowing where the problems are is important but BMJ Health Intelligence shows how best to tackle them.

BMJ Health Intelligence is a central web-based source of intelligence for everyone involved in public health decisions. It brings together the evidence for what works and outlines local projects, policies, targets, and guidelines to show what is being done up and down the country.

It means that, for the first time, public health professionals now have the evidence they need to deliver national policies in the most effective way.

The service is already being trialled by over 100 universities, Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and government departments to help them compare trends, share ideas and deliver targets.

For example, the data show:

-- 32% of men and 15% of women in England drink more than recommended weekly limits
-- By 2010 one third of UK adults will be obese
-- About 4 million people in the UK are living with cardiovascular disease at a cost of around £30 billion per year

Welcoming the service, Dr Alan Maryon Davis, from today president of the Faculty of Public Health, said: "For many years, good quality evidence for what works in public health has not been easy for the busy practitioner to track down. BMJ Health Intelligence helps to fill this gap and means that public health practitioners can now spend more time using information and less time looking for it."

He also praised local projects outlined in BMJ Health Intelligence as examples of the excellent work being done to reduce health inequalities up and down the country. They include an allotment project in Birmingham to encourage Asian women to grow, eat and sell fruit and vegetables, and a programme using vegetable-loving heroes - the "Food Dudes" - to promote healthy eating among young children.

Speaking at the launch, BMJ Health Intelligence Editor, Dr Alison Walker, said: "It's good news that public health is now at the top of the government's agenda, but health professionals up and down the country were telling us that reliable and up-to-date information to help them deliver national policies was not always easy to find.

Good quality information on which to base decisions is crucial, so by providing easy access to data, tools, and real-life examples of good practice, BMJ Health Intelligence will help public health practitioners quickly identify important trends in their local area and decide where to focus efforts for maximum effect."

BMJ Health Intelligence is provided by the BMJ Group - one of the world's leading and most trusted providers of healthcare information. healthintelligence.bmj

BMJ Health Intelligence can be purchased on annual subscription by Primary Care Trusts, Local Authorities and GP practices, based on the size of the population they serve.

Examples of local projects outlined on BMJ Health Intelligence include:
It's Not OK!
A project in Liverpool to provide education on the dangers of irresponsible drinking among young people aged between 13 and 16 years.

Concrete to Coriander

A programme using allotment sites in Birmingham to encourage Asian women to grow, eat and sell fruit and vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle through improved diet and exercise.

Heart of Mersey CVD Prevention Programme

England's largest cardiovascular disease (CVD) programme aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease, through healthy food and tobacco control interventions, among children and adults living in the most deprived areas of Greater Merseyside.

Food Dude Healthy Eating Programme

A nationwide programme to encourage and maintain healthy eating habits in children aged 4-11 years. The programme uses video adventures featuring hero figures - the "Food Dudes" - who enjoy eating fruit and vegetables.

Essex C-card

A sexual health scheme supplying free condoms to people aged under 20.