Public health white paper - LG Group briefing

Public health white paper - LG Group briefing

Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our strategy for public health in England, published on 30 November, expands on the Government’s proposals for public health originally set out in Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS. This briefing sets out the Local Government Group’s (LG Group) initial response to the proposals.

Summary of LG Group key messages

  • The White Paper is wide ranging in its proposals. Further details on a number of issues are still outstanding including: the outcomes framework for public health; details of public health funding; and a further 10 consultation documents on specific aspects of health improvement and health protection. Without them it is difficult to have a completely clear picture of the proposed new landscape for public health and the role of council within it.
  • We are fully committed to localism and welcome aspects of the White Paper which increase localism and acknowledge the breath of local government activity that can have a direct influence on public health outcomes. We therefore strongly welcome the intention of Healthy Lives, Healthy People to give back councils a leading role in improving, promoting and protecting the health of their local communities.
  • Further details on public health funding and the outcomes framework are due out before the end of the year. But it is vitally important that councils have sufficient financial and human resources, and the freedom to deploy them, to support this enhanced role. A £4 billion figure for the overall Public Health ring-fence is being floated. The LG Group is seeking clarification on how much of that will filter down to local authorities for delivery of this important agenda for which they are going to be held responsible.
  • The transfer of public health responsibilities and staff to local authorities will create a number of complex employment issues which will need to be managed effectively. Urgent clarification of the proposals around staff transfer is needed as the employment implications for councils are of major concern.
  • We seek clarification on the scope of the role and responsibilities of Public Health England (PHE), with a view to keeping to a minimum centrally directed functions and resources. We have concerns about the centralisation of functions into PHE which go against the localist vision of this paper.
  • It is important that local government is fully accountable to its local population for its record on health improvement and health inequalities. To this end it is important all staff working in its public health function, including the Director of Public Health (DsPH), is properly accountable to the council. · We will be developing a more detailed Local Government Group response to Healthy Lives, Healthy People and we welcome your views, comments and concerns on the proposals.

All Content and Images are  the Copyright property of
The Mid Mersey Local Medical Committee. 
© 2014 - 2021. All Rights Reserved.