HC Deb 03 March 1981 vol 1000 cc78-9W
28. Mr. Steen

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much has been spent by his Department in each of the last seven years on financing research as to the cost effectiveness of health education; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young

Health education is an important part of the preventive work carried out by health authorities but responsibility for national health education programmes rests with the Health Education Council, which is funded by this Department. The council has evaluated some of its programmes, including"Look After Yourself, a programme designed to show the health benefits to the individual of stopping or reducing smoking, taking exercise and eating and drinking sensibly. I understand that evaluation has shown encouraging trends in changes in attitudes and some indication of changes in behaviour.

The Department has evaluated, or is in the process of evaluating, particular health education programmes. Examples include the effects of a series of programmes about cancer run by a local radio station, studies of the effectiveness of self-examination in relation to breast cancer, studies of smoking habits, various aspects of rehabilitation and prevention of heart disease.