Two cheers for right approach in appointing Directors of Public Health
The Faculty of Public Health today welcomes the progress made by local authorities and calls on all councils to play their part in tackling health inequalities by making sure their Directors of Public Health (DsPH) report directly to a Chief Executive Officer.
The call comes as FPH releases the findings of its Freedom of Information (FOI) Request, which was made to get a clear picture of how Directors of Public Health (DsPHs) are appointed. The request was made in August, and all 152 local authorities in England responded.
The results show that:
- 92 DsPH report directly to their Chief Executive Officer
- 115 DsPH have access to elected members
- 58 local authorities currently operate a standalone public health directorate.
FPH's President Professor John Ashton said: "Local authorities have a duty to protect and improve health. An important way to do that is to make sure Directors of Public Health have the right access to senior people. Otherwise there is a risk of a public health post code lottery, in which our chances of becoming a 'health have' or 'have not' depend on where we live.
"I am pleased that many local authorities are taking the right approach in appointing their Director of Public Health. Let's give two cheers for that. However, our members tell us they are concerned about the potential risk to everyone's health unless the new public health system becomes more joined up.
"We need all local authorities to work with FPH, our members and other public health organisations to get the best possible public health services. It is in all our interests that we work together."
Written: 17/12/2013 , last modified: 05/03/2014