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PruHealth finds the nation believes people should take more responsibility for their own health


PruHealth has revealed new research that shows a third of Britons want people to pay for ’self-inflicted’ health issues, two thirds believe the nation is unhealthier now than ten years ago and half expect the range and quality of NHS care to decline over the next few years.

Two thirds (66%)* of Britons believe the nation is unhealthier now than it was ten years ago, and taking more personal responsibility (69%) could be the best foot forward.

The latest findings from PruHealth, the insurer that rewards people for engaging in healthy behaviour, found respondents to be in line with Cameron’s ’Big Society’. More than two thirds (69%) of the nation believe people should take more responsibility for their own health, while just 19 per cent feel it should lie on the shoulders of the NHS. Nearly a third of Britons (30%) even go as far as believing those with ’self-inflicted’ health concerns caused by smoking, alcohol abuse or being overweight should pick up the bill themselves.

While half of respondents (50%) feel the NHS currently offers a good level of care, many believe the range (67%) and quality (49%) of services are likely to decrease in the next few years.

Dr Katherine Tryon at PruHealth said: “People have realised that the nation’s health is worse than even a decade ago and now the issue is whose responsibility is it to change this - which is particularly crucial at a time when there is increased pressure on healthcare finances. The key for both the public and private sector will be to remove the barriers to healthy living - for example, increasing access to healthy activities and providing stronger motivation through both financial and non financial incentives.”

What Brits consider as the nation’s problems are not necessarily ones they would class as their own. For example, over half of respondents (52%) state obesity and being overweight as the greatest risk to the UK. According to 2008 data from the latest Health and Social Care Information Centre report** a quarter of adults (25% men, 24% women) are obese, and 42% and 32% of men and women are overweight, yet in this nationally representative survey less than one in ten (9%) of respondents consider it a personal healthcare concern.

Dr Katherine Tryon at PruHealth continued: "While people are aware of an unhealthy nation they are in denial about their own. People need to realise that the ’nation’s health’ means them, but it is easy to ignore messages aimed at everybody. It’s easier said than done but making health messages personally relevant is more likely to lead to success.

Combining personalisation with other motivating factors such as incentivising healthy behaviour and making it easier for people to access healthy activities is what PruHealth aims to deliver through its Vitality programme. PruHealth’s members can complete a Health Review giving them a personal Vitality Age reflecting their risk and personalised health goals, before earning rewards for healthy activities in the form of cashback and discounts with PruHealth’s health and leisure partners.

Notes to editors:
* Opinium Research carried out an online poll of 2,019 British adults from 11th - 15th February 2010. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.
** According to ’Statistics on obesity, physical activity and diet: England, 2010, The Health and Social Care Information Centre’

About PruHealth
PruHealth was launched into the UK market in October 2004 as a joint venture between Discovery and UK insurer, Prudential, in response to a growing need for consumer-directed private medical insurance products. The company offers health Insurance that rewards customers for looking after themselves. 

PR contact:
Susanna Walker-Robson
Account Director
Marble Arch Tower
17th Floor
55 Bryanston Street
07861 253652


 health insurance
 personal healthcare
 healthy activities
 vitality programme
 unhealthy nation

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