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Government gives more details on plans for public health

Commenting on the Secretary of State's speech today about the Public Health Outcome Framework, Professor Lindsey Davies, President of the Faculty of Public Health, said:

“We are pleased that the government has listened to many of our concerns, but we need to see concrete action so that the public’s health is properly protected.

“We welcome the government's decision that all public health specialists should be regulated, not just those from a medical background as at present. The intention for directors of public health to have the necessary authority to protect people’s health is also very welcome.

"We and other organisations have been working hard to make sure senior public health experts have access to the right resources to help every part of a local authority play its part in improving people’s health.

“While the promise of protected ring-fenced funding is good news, we need to see how much each local authority is getting and what they will be required to spend it on before we can be sure it really will be enough to meet communities’ needs - and give room for innovation.

“The move of public health to local authorities could work well - under the right circumstances. But we must have a robust public health system that we can all have confidence in. For that to happen, today’s announcements must be backed up by action so that the entire public health system works as we need it to. We need to be confident that the health premium will not mean that vulnerable groups, like homeless people, are penalised for being harder to reach.

“The Bill must make it clear that local authorities will  be responsible not only for planning for local outbreaks of infectious diseases like e-coli, but also for making sure they are dealt with properly  Otherwise, the public’s health will be put at risk because it may not be properly protected – either in emergencies  or  in the longer term.”

A copy of the Framework is online here

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Written: 23/01/2012 , last modified: 16/04/2012