HC Deb 14 June 1988 vol 135 cc160-1W
74. Mrs. Peacock

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the progress of the "Look After Your Heart" campaign.

84. Mr. Wood

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of Government campaigns on health education for heart disease.

85. Mr. Evennett

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the achievements of the Government's campaign "Look After Your Heart".

Mrs. Currie

"Look After Your Heart"—the first major heart disease prevention campaign in England—was launched in April 1987 with the aim, in its initial stages., of raising public awareness of the major risk factors associated with coronary heart disease and how they might be avoided. It followed previous campaigns such as "Look after Yourself" funded by the Health Education Council.

The campaign is planned as an "umbrella" under which the many local coronary heart disease programmes could be brought together and given increased impact. Community activity has been stimulated and supported in 172 health authorities and 65 local authorities, with "Look After Your Heart" community grants funding some 118 projects to the extent of £260,000. It is planned to continue this scheme into the next phase of the campaign, and we are also looking at ways of supporting longer-term projects.

The campaign has been notably successful in securing the active co-operation of industry and commerce. One way has been through a scheme of "healthy living" contracts, in which employers and organisations undertake to support the principles underlying the campaign by a series of practical innovations which can include, for example, providing no-smoking areas and healthy menus in public restaurants and works canteens, displaying and disseminating campaign material to staff and the public, and introducing "Look After Yourself- courses in exercise, nutrition and stress management. During the first year some 75 companies, employing almost 2 million people, joined the campaign, and many more are waiting to do so.

The Department and the Health Education Authority are consulting widely about the future shape of the "Look After Your Heart" programme. The results from the campaign's first tracking survey show that there has been a greater impact on socio-economic groups C2, D and E, (the groups at which the campaign is primarily aimed) than other socio-economic groups, and that the already high levels of awareness and knowledge of coronary heart disease risk factors have increased appreciably.