Government plans to go faster in tackling big public health challenges 22nd December 2010: You can have your say on how the new public health service – Public Health England – will look and how the proposed funding arrangements will be implemented.
An announcement to this effect was made by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. The development is significant, as this is a crucial part of the Government’s radical plan to go further and faster in tackling the big public health challenges.
Challenging the public to think differently about public health delivery, it seeks views on what activities should be funded from the new ring-fenced public health budget and the appropriate allocations of responsibility for public health activity in the new system.
It also seeks views on aspects of how services will be commissioned; and how money will be allocated to local authorities, including the design of the new health premium which will reward successes in improving outcomes and incentivise action to reduce health inequalities.
Andrew Lansley said: “We have set out a vision to ensure that the public health budget will be used as it should be – for preventing ill health and promoting good health.
“We believe the way forward must include a locally led system that puts people’s health and wellbeing at the heart of everything local councils do. This will allow local communities to design services that are tailored for the needs of their populations and ultimately improve their health.
“I want to hear views from the people that this new service will benefit and from those who provide the services we seek to improve; this is your chance to comment on our proposals and to let us know how you think key elements of the service should be designed.”
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Interim Chief Medical Officer said: “Our public health system needs a protected public health budget to tackle this country’s public health problems.
“I urge all those that are currently involved in public health to feed in their ideas to the Healthy Lives, Healthy People, consultation. We are committed to working with, and listening to, a wide range of stakeholders on the development and implementation of this new public health service, Public Health England.”
The consultation asks questions about the approach that should be taken to allocating public health funds to local authorities, and the design of the health premium which will reward areas for their achievements and incentivise action to reduce health inequalities.
Localism will be at the heart of this new system. Local authorities will have statutory duties to take steps to improve the health of their populations. This will open up opportunities for them to take innovative approaches to public health involving new partners.