COVID-19 has put the health of the nation under the spotlight. Firms have stepped up, with a significantly increased emphasis on the health and wellbeing of their employees. The underlying importance of health to people’s personal and professional success has come into stark focus, and reinforced the importance of the UK’s life sciences capability.
All businesses can benefit from an increased focus on health, with a strong correlation between health and job satisfaction, which in turn drives better business performance. The CBI will act as a collective engine for UK businesses, in partnership with the government, to grasp the Health prizes on offer.
The UK has a highly prized life sciences sector. The global life sciences market in pharmaceuticals and medtech has been growing quickly, but UK revenues remained stalled from 2010 and 2019. There are new, fast growing opportunities in areas like biotech and across the supply chains of healthcare and wellness sectors where the UK is well placed to compete.
A healthier nation also contributes to ‘levelling up’ with the greatest economic return from improving health coming across different regions and nations. And a reduced disease burden benefits us all.
To read more about the prizes on offer for businesses in Health, take a look at the CBI’s Seize the Moment report presenting an economic strategy to transform the UK economy.
So, what is the CBI doing?
The CBI’s Health policy work will focus on three main areas to improve the health of the nation with business' support:
1. A healthier nation
Health is a key contributor to social and economic progress. Through reformed occupational health services we can improve workforce wellbeing, creating a healthier nation. Businesses are increasingly recognising that early and sustained support through workplace health interventions can minimise the risk of job losses related to ill-health, and there is more work to be done.
Businesses currently do not have the support required to take the health interventions needed to improve workforce health.
With compelling health, economic and financial benefits on offer, the CBI will be working with the government to guide business and shift the mindsets of industry towards health as an investment, not a cost.
2. A life sciences superpower
Throughout the pandemic, the UK has seen the fastest development, creation, and uptake of pioneering healthcare innovations in modern times. Critical to this response has been the UK’s Life Sciences sector, a key enabler of the nation’s health, resilience, and prosperity.
While the UK is already seen as a world-leader in the Life Sciences, we cannot afford to be complacent. The global Life Sciences market has been growing by 2% annually, while UK Life Sciences revenues have fallen short of international competition over the last decade.
To maintain our status as a leading Life Sciences hub, the UK must create an outstanding business environment for investment.
3. Supporting our NHS
The rapid and successful development of vaccines has also highlighted the great work that can be done, at pace and at scale, when Business and the Department for Health (DHSC) work together. Moving forward the CBI’s Health programme will explore the role business can play in helping with the backlog through public and private partnerships driven by outcome not just spend.
This includes through:
- Private engagements with ministers, NHS leaders and Health Spend leadership
- Widening conversations with the government beyond COVID-19, to how firms can engage with the NHS structure more broadly
- Working with business and the government to tackle health inequalities.
Health in 2022
2022 will be a big year for Health at the CBI with opportunities for your business to shape, lead and embrace change. To find out more about what 2022 has in store, read our shared plan to deliver for business this year.
Contact Lydia Hamilton-Rimmer to get involved with the CBI’s Occupational Health work.
Contact Jake Harrison to get involved in the CBI’s Life Sciences sector work.