Key points

  • This briefing makes the case for the nation’s health to be viewed as an asset that requires long-term investment for our society to prosper. 
  • It also describes a research programme, funded by the Health Foundation, that will assess the effect of an individual’s health on their social and economic outcomes.

The Health Foundation believes health should be viewed as an asset to be invested in. In this briefing, we ask, what is the social and economic value of maintaining and improving people’s health?

Individuals place more value on being healthy than on factors like income or careers, but societal goals are still described in terms of income, employment and economic growth. Too often, policymaking is short-term and narrowly focused on GDP-based metrics – with the social and economic value of health overlooked.

The biggest influences on people’s health are wider social determinants including their quality of housing and education, access to good quality work and affordable food.

The Health Foundation wants to see more action on the strategies that help people stay healthy. To increase the evidence base, the Health Foundation is funding a research programme on the social and economic value of health.

Cite this publication

Marshall L, Finch D, Cairncross L, Bibby J, 'The nation's health as an asset'. Health Foundation; 2018 (https://www.health.org.uk/publications/the-nations-health-as-an-asset)

Programme

The Social and Economic Value of Health

Programme

Our programme exploring the impact of health on the social and economic outcomes of individuals and...

You might also like...

Event

Webinar: NHS reform – what do the proposals mean for general practice?

Event

How the government's proposed NHS reforms will affect primary care and why general practice should...

Event

Webinar: A healthy recovery: Acting on findings from the COVID-19 impact inquiry

Event

Join us for A healthy recovery: Acting on findings from the COVID-19 impact inquiry on Tuesday 6...

News

Four innovation hubs to be established as part of the Health Foundation’s programme to improve the adoption of health care improvements

News

Four areas have been selected to be part of a new programme supporting health care providers to...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

NHS Test and Trace celebrated its first birthday last month. We've tracked its up and downs and reported on its su… https://t.co/Iro6fcRdgH

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more