The need to include accident prevention as a key area in the forthcoming Green Paper on Prevention

The new data, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows an alarming trend – a rise in avoidable injury deaths.(1,2) Although accidents are a significant cause of injuries, premature deaths and disability it needs to be stressed that many can be prevented.

There is significant evidence over time that suggests when interventions have been made many injuries have been prevented and a considerable number of lives have been saved.(3-8). Most recently both Public Health England (9,10) and NICE (11-13) have produced clear guidance in order to try to ensure that people are safer both in their homes and on the roads. Priorities for children and young people in relation to schools have also been produced.(14)

There are some good examples of accident prevention initiatives across the country. Nonetheless, some local areas are better served than others and there is little consistency in both the quantity and quality of interventions.(15-17) Practitioners including those in local authorities and the NHS require more support to develop their injury prevention capability. Capacity issues also need to be addressed.(24)

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in conjunction with many eminent organisations including the Faculty of Public Health and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health have produced a national strategy for England – “Safe and active at all ages”.(25) It draws upon the considerable base of evidence on the effectiveness of accident prevention programmes and recommends interventions for all age groups.

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