Public Health and Obesity in England – the New Infrastructure Examined

As part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (Secretary of State 2012) significant changes to the public health system were introduced. Such changes included: the creation of a new national public health service, Public Health England (PHE); a restored emphasis on the role of general practice in health improvement (DH 2010); the transfer of public health responsibilities from Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) to local authorities; and the creation of Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) as committees of each unitary and upper-tier local authority, where key leaders from the health and care system work together to improve the health and wellbeing of their local population and reduce health inequalities. As a result of the new arrangements, responsibility for commissioning and delivering public health activities are now split between a number of organisations, including: local authorities, general practice, PHE, NHS England (NHSE) (formally called the NHS Commissioning Board), and voluntary organisations. This potentially means a more complex commissioning and service delivery environment for public health than previously (DH 2011a, DH 2011b).

The PHOENIX project aims to examine the impact of structural changes to the health and care system in England on the functioning of the public health system, and on the approaches taken to improving the public’s health.

This second interim report presents the findings of our phase one case study research and first national surveys of Directors of Public Health (DsPH) and Councillors who lead on public health issues. Download report [pdf]>>

The first national surveys report can be found here.

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