Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

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Cabinet Decision: 17th March 2011
Title of Item/Report
Response to the Public Health White Paper
Record of the Decision
Cabinet considered a report that provided an update on Health policy changes and summarised the main points of the Public health White Paper and the implications for the Council as well as incorporating the draft consultation response to be submitted on behalf of the Council and Health and Wellbeing Partnership Board.

Members noted the key proposals of the Public Health White Paper including:-

Creation of a dedicated and professional public health service, known as Public Health England (PHE). Members noted some of the PHE's functions
Transfer of public health responsibilities to Public Health England and local councils. The Directors of Public Health (DsPH) would move to local authorities and would be jointly appointed by councils and PHE.
PHE will hold responsibility for the ring-fenced public health funding which comes from the overall NHS budget.
A national outcomes framework for public health would set the broad public health and health inequalities outcomes for all areas and organisations to address.
the NHS would continue to play an important role in public health. PHE would commission the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) to undertake screening, including cancer screening, some aspects of emergency preparedness, childhood immunisations and public health aspects of primary care contracts.
GPs would be incentivised - both as primary care professionals and commissioners - to focus on prevention and early intervention. GPs will continue to provide a range of public health services such as childhood immunisations, contraceptive services, cervical screening etc but the PHE may wish to change how services were commissioned and delivered.
There would be a focus on mental health and wellbeing throughout life, with a particular emphasis on mental wellbeing of children and adolescents.
New arrangements for emergency preparedness and health protection.
The paper highlighted the role of business and the voluntary sector through the Public Health Responsibility Deal with five networks on food, alcohol, physical activity, health at work and behaviour change.

Members were provided with a summary of Stockton's response to the white paper consultation which would be submitted in before the deadline of 31 March 2011.

The Health White Paper signalled a significant period of change for the Local Authority and NHS. This was in parallel to challenging financial constraints in both areas. The management of the transition period would be critical in "skilling up" all organisations to manage their new functions, transferring health improvement functions & personnel to the Local Authority and reshaping pathways to enable efficiencies to be released and ensure that quality of care is maintained.

A project plan to manage the transition was being developed and the Health and Wellbeing Management Team would help to oversee the development of the project plan.

RESOLVED that the potential implications of the Public Health White Paper and the response to the consultation questions for Stockton on Tees Borough Council be noted.
Reasons for the Decision
To highlight the direction of travel outlined in the Public Health White Paper and note the proposals outlined.
To ensure that Stockton's feedback was included in the national consultation process.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
Not applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on 25 March 2011
Attachment

Date of Publication: 21 March 2011


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