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Scottish Government is a barrier to good health

This news post is over 7 years old

​Public policy has to empower people to do things for themselves says a major new study

The Scottish Government is preventing people from improving their own wellbeing according to a new report.

The Carnegie UK Trust argues people need to feel in control in order to maximise their physical and mental health but public policy currently acts as a barrier to this.

A route map to Enabling State produced by Sir John Elvidge, former permanent secretary to the Scottish Government, on behalf of the philanthropic organisation makes a number of recommendations to the government including giving people more rights and investing in disadvantaged communities.

He highlighted the Scottish Land Fund, which enables communities to take ownership of land and other assets, as an example of good practice but said more had to be done to empower other parts of society.

Governments need to empower and support communities and families

Elvidge said: “There is clear evidence that people wish to be in control of their own lives. There is also evidence that feeling in control is a factor in better physical and mental health. So it goes with the grain of both our individual and our collective interest to seek to maximise that control.

“Governments need to empower and support communities and families.

“To do that, the first step will be difficult, governments need to stop doing things for people that they could organise and do themselves.”

Martyn Evans, chief executive of Carnegie UK Trust added: “What has been highlighted by this work is the need to put wellbeing at the heart of public policy in the UK and to do that we need a change in the way governments not only think but work.”



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