Letter to SNP re 2015 election manifesto

From: CVRT CVRT [mailto:cvrtrust@googlemail.com]
Sent: 06 May 2015 16:17
To: info@snp.org
Subject: SNP and Public Health

Prevent disorders of the heart and circulation

Wednesday 6th May, 2015

Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Leader of the Scottish National Party
cc Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport
info@snp.org

Dear Nicola Sturgeon

I am writing to you on behalf of our healthy heart charity. We do not wish to take a party political view and are therefore writing to all party leaders to ask about your respective party’s commitment to improving public health approaches to preventing serious disorders of the heart and circulation: these cause ~half of adult deaths in the UK.
We are writing now, having considered how your manifesto addresses this issue, and in the light of the fresh report from the Economist Intelligence Unit on the low UK ranking for standardized health spend and doctors per 1000 population compared with many benchmark international economies (https://data.oecd.org).
Despite efforts of recent administrations, the UK faces an epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other serious disorders linked to preventable risk of heart and circulatory disease. Urgent, effective, preventive action is needed, with expected benefits for personal and national health and wealth, coupled to eased pressures on the NHS.
Our concerns from reading your Manifesto are:
1.    1. While we welcome your stated ability within Westminster to “campaign to secure more money for health …”, you provide no mention of public health in general, or public health measures to address the growing UK epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other serious disorders linked to preventable risk of heart and circulatory disease.
2.    1. In the “Health and Wellbeing” part of your website, you refer to facilities, waiting times and other aspects of delivery of healthcare. However again there is no mention of public health, or disease prevention in general, or prevention of preventable common serious conditions, including of the heart and circulation.
Gains from effective public health measures can be very rapid and often well within the lifetime of a particular administration, for example in Scotland, the 20% reduction in heart attack rates within one year of introducing a compulsory ban on smoking in public places.

We therefore ask what actions your party proposes in support of a national, effective public health approach to prevent heart disease through better public awareness within both children and adults of what causes heart disease, why to bother to change behavior, the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to prevent heart disease, and how to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

These efforts will help both to prevent serious heart and circulatory conditions, as well as other serious disorders, including cancer, joint disease, and common forms of dementia.

Yours sincerely

Cardiovascular Research Trust