A NEW paper published by the British Medical Association (BMA), looking at the leading causes of longterm conditions association with premature deaths, such as cancer and heart disease, highlights the need to prioritise healthcare prevention.

In South Central England, too many people are dying needlessly from preventable long-term conditions associated with premature deaths.

With the right intervention at the beginning, many lives could be saved.

As well as the benefitting the overall health of the population, given that preventable ill-health accounts for an estimated 50 percent of all GP appointments, 64 percent of outpatient appointments and 70 percent of all inpatient stays, tackling this will ultimately ease pressure on services. This will ultimately secure the long-term stability of the NHS.

The government must place prevention as a central focus of their future NHS planning.

Prof Dame Parveen Kumar, chair of the BMA board of science committee