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Public health green paper: 'Our healthier nation: a contract for health'

February 1998

In its green paper 'Our healthier nation: a contract for health', the Labour government focused on the need to narrow health inequalities and improve the health of local populations. The government sought to establish a 'third way' approach by which a 'national contract for health' would be made between the state, individuals and communities.

This national contract was expected to be deployed through the development of health improvement programmes (HIPs) by local health authorities. Additionally, local authorities would have a new duty to promote economic, environmental and social wellbeing.

The national contract for health contained sets of responsibilities for ensuring better health for the government, individuals and communities. The government's responsibilities were to tackle the roots of ill health, provide leadership and ensure the public were well informed to be capable of making decisions about their health.

Local bodies and communities were to provide local leadership to ensure better health and provide high quality services. Individuals would be responsible for their own health, should avoid causing harm to others and should take opportunities to improve their health.


Department of Health.
Our healthier nation: a contract for health.
HMSO; 1998.