A Cash Plan Initiative For Your Health

The NHS this week admitted they are considering a cash plan style option of financial incentives to encourage a healthier style of life for UK citizens. Some areas have undertaken their own schemes and they report that the results have given some encouragement.

NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) advises the NHS in England and Wales. They suggest these measures may be able to help the NHS to combat issues such as obesity, smoking and drinking. They wish to gather additional evidence into the cash plan incentive for lifestyle changes, an idea described as “an idea whose time has come” before submitting their recommendations.

This is not the first time the body has considered rewarding people for change; they have previously encouraged the scheme to help people beat drug addiction.

In an earlier interview with the BBC, NICE’s head of public health, Professor Mike Kelly said “We will want to see evidence that it provides value for money, there is a question over whether behavior is sustained when incentives end”.

Head of public health for NICE, Professor Mike Kelly says; “We will want to see evidence that it provides value for money, there is a question over whether behavior is sustained when incentives end. Humans respond to incentives, we know that. What we now need to see is whether the economic behavior can be repeated in terms of health behavior. It is an idea whose time has come.”

Upon NICE backing a cash plan style scheme, recommendations for the plan covering England and Wales are still around a year away at least.

In the meantime the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence are working closely with a team of London-based experts from King’s College, Queen Mary University and the London School of Economics, who are carrying out research into the issue.

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