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Ten year plan for children must encourage responsibility for health, says CSP

CSP press release published on 10 December 2007

The announcement of a ten year plan for children must seek to encourage us to take responsibility for our own health and well-being, says the CSP

The announcement by Children's Secretary Ed Balls MP of a ten year plan for children must seek to encourage us, starting with younger generations, to take responsibility for our own health and well-being, says the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

In his review of the NHS, the Health Minister Lord Darzi has observed that the breadth and scale of inequalities in England are striking. The gap in life expectancy between the most deprived and least deprived areas has widened and the opportunity to access healthcare has worsened in areas of greater need. Attention must be given to wider determinants of health such as early child development, poverty and lifestyle.

Derek Wanless has illustrated in his reports over the past few years that with an insatiable demand for health and care services and limited resources the status quo is not an option. If the NHS is to move from being a ‘national sickness service’ to a health service, we need to place more emphasis on maintaining good health and preventing ill health. This can only be achieved by recognising the impact of societal factors around education, social structures and the environment.

Support within the community for children of lower socioeconomic groups to provide access to leisure facilities and equipment would help increase exercise uptake in children traditionally identified as less able to engage with such pursuits.

Increasing the time spent on mandatory physical education within the school curriculum, alongside active encouragement of participation in school sports and after school activities, health promotion strategies and teacher training would also help tackle health problems now.

Liz Cavan, Chair of Council at the CSP said, “Increasingly we are seeing physiotherapists working within multi-disciplinary teams involved with the promotion of healthy lifestyles for children, including such initiatives as back care programmes and physical activity.

“Short-term consequences of inactivity and obesity include asthma, type 2 diabetes, joint pain, high blood pressure, early signs of cardiovascular disease, low self esteem, and depression. Long-term consequences include a greater likelihood of adult obesity, and a higher risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.  As a society we cannot afford these consequences; our attitudes must change, starting with our children.”

Notes to editors

1. For more information, please call the CSP press office on 020 7306 6616/6628/6163. Out of hours please call Louise Fitzsimons on 07786 332197, Becky Darke on 07900 160349 or Prabh Salaman on 07795 564240.


2. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 49,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. For previous releases visit


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