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Innovations in Prevention

This paper introduces the concept of prevention as a method to avoid costly harm, details the current spending on preventative measures and outlines the stages involved in developing a preventative strategy.

This paper introduces the concept of prevention as a method to avoid costly harm, details the current spending on preventative measures and outlines the stages involved in developing a preventative strategy.

Key findings:

  • Mainstream adoption and investment of prevention remains small. Less than 4 per cent of health expenditure was spent on prevention during 2008/9
  • Prevention is not always appropriate, and there is a need to balance prevention with reactive services.
  • Research identifies areas where further work and the development of useable tools and methods are required in order to bring prevention into the mainstream. For instance, a lot is known about different preventative programmes, whilst there seems to appears to be little available to aid forecasting and modelling of different strategic options.

Despite widespread recognition that more preventative investment could reap great benefits to society and the public purse, it remains a marginal component of expenditure.

 

In this paper, we apply an innovation lens to prevention, helping to understand the different stages involved and the resources available to enable the benefits to be more effectively realised. We also identify the areas where innovation is lacking, such as in prediction tools, financing or implementation, with the aim of helping prompt further work in this space.

 

This paper starts by introducing prevention, outlining the current spending on preventative measures, the benefits of these, and also potential limitations. The second section of the paper outlines the stages involved in developing a preventative strategy.

 

Author

Ruth Puttick

Authors

Ruth Puttick

Ruth Puttick

Ruth Puttick

Principal Researcher - Public and Social Innovation

Ruth was Principal Researcher for public and social innovation. Ruth joined the Nesta policy and research team in 2009, working on a range of projects across innovation, investment a...

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