Guest blog by Jessica Munshaw – Community Safety Information and Support Officer, RoSPA
It is becoming increasingly evident that preventative services are extremely important for creating a healthier nation. While prevention is not a new topic, recent national conversations have been bringing it to the forefront. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents have been promoting safety and the prevention of accidents in the UK for over 100 years. Accidents are the principal cause of premature, preventable death for children, youth and people up to the age of 60. Because accidents affect the young so much, they cast a very long shadow over the lives of those left behind. Therefore, we strongly believe that an emphasis on accident prevention will contribute greatly to a healthier Scotland.
Following two safety projects implemented by RoSPA, we have seen that for a relatively low cost, accident prevention can have a big impact on the health and lives of UK citizens. Scotland’s Home Safety Equipment Scheme involved a home safety visit, education package and free installation of safety equipment to approximately 1000 families. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the cost of a non-fatal hospital treated home accident for children aged up to four years in the UK is £10,600. The cost of delivering the scheme was £142 for each child, far cheaper than the cost of treatment and rehabilitation.
RoSPA also worked on a liquid laundry capsule campaign with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Several children in Scotland have been admitted to the hospital for biting into liquid laundry capsules. Safety packs with information leaflets and cupboard catches were created and delivered by health visitors as part of their health visit to over 16,000 families. The cost of delivering the scheme was just £1.46 for each family.
These are just two examples of how effective a preventative approach can be at creating a healthier Scotland. Although they demonstrate that significant money can be saved through prevention, more importantly they show how easily the pain and suffering associated with accidents can be avoided.
A healthier Scotland will consist of strong, resilient and supportive communities. Accident prevention encourages resilience, resourcefulness and self-reliance. By providing people with these skills, we would be providing them with the ability to take responsibility for their own health and the health of their loved ones.
For more information: www.rospa.com