Public Health England’s Centres and Regions

Duncan Selbie explains the regional structure of Public Health England, and how PHE will interact with other organisations on a local level.

Our ‘Going Live’ work programme has drafted a short description of the roles of our 15 Centres and four Regions and their key relationships. The Centre will be the front door of PHE and responsible for assuring that the services and expertise provided are truly focused on local needs. Its Director will be a full partner in the local public health system, which includes the voluntary and community sector, and their unique role will be to provide a range of services and expert advice that is tailored to the needs, wishes and aspirations of local government, CCGs and the local NHS. Each Centre will provide leadership and support across all three domains of public health – health protection, health improvement and healthcare public health. This will include supporting local government in their leadership of the local public health system; supporting Directors of Public Health across the range of their responsibilities enabling them to access specialised advice and support when required; working with the NHS Commissioning Board to support it in its role as a direct commissioner of key services, including specialist services and national public health programmes; and providing leadership in responding to emergencies where scale is necessary.

Our four Regions are coterminous with those of the NHS CB and other national partners and they also happily map onto the nine regional local government groupings. Each will nurture, assure and support the local public health system and maintain an overview of the whole system’s progress in implementing the Public Health Outcomes Framework. They will have a special responsibility for workforce development and we will be publishing our strategy for this in March. Our regional ‘Going Live’ events, co-produced with a group of organisations including the LGA, NHS CB and Association of Directors of Public Health, will develop this narrative further and work through what this means in practice on the ground. These have now been confirmed in the North of England (Leeds) on 12 March, the South of England (Swindon) on 15 March, Midlands and East of England (Leicester) on 19 March and in London on 22 March.

Health and Wellbeing Boards are the frontline for priority setting at a local level and where the major decisions will be taken that will improve and protect health as well as assuring safe and effective health services. Innovation will increasingly be an essential driver for this. An invitation is shortly to be extended to members of Health and Wellbeing Boards to attend the Healthcare Innovation Expo 2013 at ExCel London on 13 and 14 March. This should prove invaluable and inspiring and I hope as many of you as possible will be able to take up this opportunity.

And finally, PHE is involved in a national collaboration with the NHS CB, LGA, Department of Health and Monitor to encourage integrated care as the preferred local model, particularly for people who have to live with long term conditions. There is a current consultation on this and I would encourage everyone to contribute.


In Duncan Selbie, News, Public Health England

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