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Labour considers ‘ambitious’ physical activity targets

Labour is looking at introducing an ‘ambitious’ public health target to get half the population taking recommended levels of exercise, in plans being developed for the next election manifesto, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has said.

Pulse understands the plans are ‘not fully worked through’, but signal Mr Burnham’s intention to devise an ambitious target on physical activity in time for the next election.

Mr Burnham’s comments were made at a summit on physical activity in London yesterday.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Burnham said increasing physical activity levels will be the ‘cornerstone’ of public health policy if Labour is elected, centred on a new target to get half of Britain taking enough exercise by 2025.

Labour health advisors confirmed to Pulse they were ‘looking at’ the target, based on exercise levels recommended by the chief medical officer, but said it was not yet in the manifesto.

A spokesperson said: ‘It’s not yet a manifesto commitment – it’s not fully worked through. It’s to signal [Mr Burnham’s] intention to come up with some kind of ambitious plan like that in time for the manifesto.

‘We need to do more research and convince people that should be in it. But we do want something that ambitious as a public health physical activity target in there, but whether it is exactly at that level is not decided yet.’

Readers' comments (8)

  • In other news, Tesco are doing 2 for 1 on chocolate cakes.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Yes. Politically very correct but it means a government has to be 'very' committed to introduce changes with optimal investments in both funding and personnels . This is about changing the whole culture of this country and will involve educations through different channels.
    Too bad so often that would be confronted by lack of interest or fear of losing revenues by organisations and enterprises . Minimal pricing of alcohol was a good lesson.
    Last of all , a government easily threw the ball to GPs to just fulfil some electronic targets. We all know too damn well the story of GPPAQ score . Using general practice as a 'dumping ground ' only means one thing , one thing only , politicians always care about their political health more than anything else👿😡

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  • Fiddling while Rome burns...

    Does anyone else want a government to simply provide decent funding for core activity? It would be nice if we could see patients, sort out their problems and perhaps do it with more than 7 mins each....

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  • Quite agree with Vinci. Has any of these policy makers seriously tried to see what patients thinks about health professionals pushing healthy living? Most of them don't care, some of them thinks they are doing NHS a favour and should receive some kind of reward, many well have some kind of excuse (including no fee gym provided by NHS), and small number are working day and night and unable to do healthy living.

    My partner has BMI of 30 and despite my professional opinion, she sees other obese people around and accuses me for 'not being happy with her appearance'. But if you go abroad, you see a lot more obese British then any other nation.

    Unless the culture around this changes no amount of GP lecture will make any difference. Stop blaming the clinicians for decades of political failure!

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  • This is a SOCIETY problem not a doctoring one.

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  • When young doctors say to me that General Practice is a joke i have to agree with them but don't blame me,blame the politicians.What a waste of taxpayers' money to then turn doctors into glorified nannies.My advice to all medical students and young doctors is to stick to hospital medicine.

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  • 5 years at university. 5 years of postgraduate training and exams and we have to monitor treadmill use and pizza consumption.

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  • Being reported in Pulse doesn't mean it is only down to doctors to deliver! The target set our by Burnham is for government, local authorities, sports clubs, charities, schools - you name it - working together. Doctors' support would be very welcome I'm sure.

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