The transfer of responsibility for local health improvement from the NHS (PCTs) to local authorities has been the biggest shift in public health delivery in decades.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 conferred new duties on local authorities to improve outcomes across a range of public health issues for their local populations. Local authorities now hold responsibility, supported by ring-fenced budgets, for commissioning and delivering services in a broad range of areas including sexual health, alcohol and drug misuse services, NHS Health Check assessments, public mental health and dental public health amongst a range of other services and interventions. Read the full list of commissioning responsibilities
Local authorities also have a duty to promote the health of their population, tackle health inequalities, ensure that robust plans are in place to protect the local population and put in place arrangements to provide public health advice to NHS commissioners.
The Public Health Outcomes Framework sets out a range of nationally reported key public health outcomes.
Directors of Public Health (DsPH) are now based within local authorities and are responsible for leading efforts to improve public health.
Public Health England (PHE) is the national voice and expert service provider for public health. Its role is to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the population, and to reduce inequalities in health and wellbeing outcomes. It also provides a range of useful data and information about public health - for example in October 2015 it published a visual summary of health inequalities in London.
We supported the transfer of public health functions to London boroughs in 2013 and since then our priorities are:
- to support the embedding of public health in London local authorities
- to make the case for appropriate funding of public health for boroughs
- to support boroughs to collaborate together and with other London partners to improve the health of the capital's population and reduce health inequalities
- to support the transfer of health visitors and 0-5 public health to London local authorities from October 2015.
Directors of Public Health
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 made it a requirement for each local authority to appoint a Director of Public Health (DPH).
DsPH have responsibility for:
- the new health improvement duties the Health & Social Care Act 2012 placed on local authorities
- the exercise of any public health functions of the Secretary of State which the Secretary of State requires the local authority to exercise by regulations under section 6C of the NHS Act
- any public health activity undertaken by the local authority under arrangements with the Secretary of State
- local authority functions in relation to planning for, and responding to, emergencies that present a risk to public health
- the local authority role in co-operating with police, probation and prison services in relation to assessing risks of violent or sexual offenders
- other public health functions that the Secretary of State may specify in regulations (e.g. functions in relation to making representations about the grant of a license to use premises for the supply of alcohol
The Directors of Public Health in London work together through the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) for London. ADPH London is hosted by London Councils and the London Borough of Haringey. They can be contacted through:
Jo Chambers, Programme Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8489 1871
Jess Kaur, Programme Support - email@example.com
or via firstname.lastname@example.org
And you can follow them on twitter @LondonADPH .