A radical plan to go further and faster in tackling today’s causes of premature death and illness and reduce health inequalities, with a public health service to make it happen, was unveiled by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
Public Health England will be created as a service that gives more power to local people over their health, whilst keeping a firm national grip on crucial population-wide issues such as flu pandemics.
Central Government will not hold all the purse strings. The majority of public health services will be commissioned by local authorities or by the NHS.
The government will take a less intrusive approach, staying out of people’s everyday lives wherever possible. Instead of reaching for choice-limiting regulations at every opportunity, the government will employ a range of evidence-based approaches to improve health.
To make sure that progress is made on issues like obesity and smoking, Public Health England will set a series of outcomes to measure whether people’s health actually improves.
Public Health England will combine experts from public health bodies such as the Health Protection Agency and the National Treatment Agency as part of the Department of Health. This will integrate leading expertise, advice and influence into one organisation. Public Health England will focus on national resilience against things like flu pandemics and other health threats, as well as being a knowledge bank for the best and most up to date evidence on behaviour change techniques and monitoring data.
The public health responsibility deal will be driven forward by working with industry, charities, and leading experts from the field. The outcome will be to make it easier for people to make healthy choices.
The overall intent is to make individuals and businesses more responsible for health.