Behavioural sciences needed to address gaps in health and social care, says Chief Medical Officer

9 February 2016

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, delivered oral evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on February 2.

In her evidence, Davies highlighted the importance of behavioural sciences in addressing gaps in health research and social care, while also pointing to the urgent need for new strategies to tackle diseases such as obesity.

She said:

“[It is] the behavioural area where, with ESRC, we need to stimulate much more work. We do evaluative work, so I hope we will be able to fund more evaluations of whether or not this or that behavioural approach worked in practice, whether for public health or within the healthcare service. But it is a perpetually changing landscape, and we need the energy and foresight to make sure we stay ahead as a nation, and for patients, which is very important.”

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee hearing comes as the Campaign drafts its forthcoming Health of People report, outlining the vital role of social science research and practice in contributing to health and addressing specific issues facing the NHS and public healthcare more broadly.

Selected extracts, along with a full transcript, can be found here.