The Fabian Society is pleased to announce a new project to develop options for Labour’s Future Generations Wellbeing Act. The society will work with Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour shadow health secretary, to develop ideas for the new law, which he announced at the FEPS-Fabian Summer Conference on Saturday 29 June 2019.
The project will draw together evidence and expertise on the best cross-government approaches to monitoring and improving health and wellbeing and closing health inequalities, including lessons from Wales and New Zealand. The project will consist of a call for evidence, commissioned articles from leading experts and a national event hosted by Jonathan Ashworth MP.
At the conference Jonathan Ashworth MP announced that the next Labour government will pass a Future Generations Wellbeing Act, following the lead of Welsh Labour, who have already implemented similar legislation. The Act will place duties on health services, public bodies in England and government to take account of population health and wellbeing, now and in the future, when making their decisions.
Ashworth announced that the Act will:
- Enshrine a ‘health in all policies’ approach ensuring a ‘health equality audit’ of all government decisions;
- Enshrine meaningful high-level national standards for population health and health inequalities including commitments on ensuring life expectancy and health life expectancy match the best of our international peers and that children enjoy the best health and wellbeing outcomes possible;
- Place a new duty on local health services to reduce health inequalities, while ensuring public health services are fully funded and budgets ring fenced;
- Connect health services with Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring the NHS plays it part in tackling climate change;
- Recognise the NHS as an ‘economic anchor’ institution in communities and ensure it maximises the social value of local spending decisions.
The Fabian Society’s work will examine how these plans could be put into practice and seek ideas for other provisions that could be included in the new law.