POLICY NEWS 7December-January 2008/9
available to all and parental leave provisions remain inadequate. The report concludes that the UKshould spend what is necessary both to eliminate child poverty and meet the benchmarks in full.
Her Majesty’s Government – New Opportunities White Paper - Fair Chances for the Future
In this White Paper, the Government launches its plans for building ‘fair chances for everyone tosucceed in the new economy’. The White Paper sets out the Government’s agenda for capturingthe jobs of the future and investing in families, communities and citizens throughout their lives to helpthem get on and ahead.The paper argues that although the months ahead will be tough, the coming decade offers vastnew opportunities for Britain, with up to a billion skilled jobs created worldwide in the coming years.The Government needs to invest now to win those jobs for Britain – and to ensure new opportunitiesare open to anyone no matter their background.Against the backdrop of record public investment planned for the next two years, ‘NewOpportunities’ details plans that cover the full range of government departments offering focusedsupport for people at key stages of their lives to make the most of their potential.
-----------------------------------------HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE
The King’s Fund - Commissioning and behaviour change: kicking bad habits
The King’s Fund report seeks to investigate the effectiveness of different types of public healthprogramme in tackling smoking, alcohol misuse, poor diet and lack of exercise. The report finds thatthese behaviours constitute deep-rooted social habits which are not easily changed by one-off,short-lived measures. It also suggests that many NHS staff lack the necessary skills and incentives toeffectively help people choose and maintain healthier lifestyles. The report recommends that:
The NHS needs to make better use of social marketing techniques and data analysis tools likegeodemographics to identify, target and effectively communicate messages and motivatepeople to change how they live.
Public health programmes should not rely on a single approach – such as informationcampaigns or financial incentives – as the evidence shows the most effective behaviourchange interventions employ a variety of tactics.
A robust evaluation of both short and long-term changes in behaviour and health outcomes