The Prevention and the Wider Determinants of Health function is responsible for the implementation of Priority One of our Health and Well being Strategy – Helping People in Surrey to Lead Healthy Lives.

The vision for prevention in Surrey Heartlands places preventing ill health and disability at the heart of the health system. 

We will drive a fundamental shift towards prevention and early intervention across the course of life.  This will be achieved through delivery of our prevention initiatives and by working alongside each of our clinical priorities to map and deliver opportunities to improve and maintain people’s physical and mental health.

The delivery of this vision will increase the number of years all Surrey residents live in good health and accelerate improvements in those currently experiencing the worst health.

There are 3 categories of prevention:

Primary. Here the aim is to prevent disease before it occurs. This can be via an immunisation programme or encouraging healthy behaviours such as increasing exercise or reducing smoking.

Secondary. This is the early detection of disease and to prevent it from becoming worse. This can be via early screening programmes e.g. bowel cancer.

Tertiary. Improvement in the quality of life in those with existing disease. To reduce disability and limit or delay the onset of any complications and restore function. E.g. via rehabilitation.

The Wider Determinants of Health (WDH) – also known as social determinants – are a diverse range of social, economic and environmental factors which impact on people’s health.

Variation in the experience of wider determinants is considered the fundamental cause (the ‘causes of the causes’) of health outcomes.

It highlights the impact of other aspects on our health other than clinical care. These include such factors as; the quality of our housing; homelessness; our built environment and our natural environment; our air quality; education; income; employment and our social capital which includes our sense of belonging to a community.