New public health system takes shape as more details published

More details on the design of the new public health system, including the role and responsibilities of local government in public health, the operating model for the new executive agency Public Health England and an overview of how the whole system will work, are published today.

The factsheets, which aim to help the partner organisations and staff involved to understand and implement these reforms, are:

The New Public Health System: Summary
A summary of the public health system reforms and key points on the design of the new system

Public Health in Local Government
These factsheets detail the roles and responsibilities of local authorities in the new public health system, including local authority public health functions, the role of the Director of Public Health and commissioning responsibilities.

Public Health in Local Government (all factsheets)
Local government leading for public health
Local government’s new public health functions
The role of the Director of Public Health
Commissioning responsibilities
Public health advice to NHS commissioners
Professional appraisal and support, and capacity building

Public Health England’s Operating Model
These factsheets detail the design of Public Health England.

Public Health England’s Operating Model (all factsheets)
Mission and values
Organisational design
Status and accountability
Next steps – establishing Public Health England

Workforce and the new Public Health system

The factsheet provides a best practice framework for organisational changes affecting staff as part of the transfer and sets out a range of principles and HR standards for managing the processes involved, complementing the HR Transition Framework.

Public health transfer from primary care trusts to local authorities

The new public health system, which is due to be implemented from April 2013, will see local authorities take the lead for improving health, coordinating local efforts to protect the public’s health and ensuring health services promote population health.

At the same time, Public Health England will be created to deliver a range of services – including health protection, providing information and intelligence, and supporting the development of the public health workforce.

Further operational details – including a public health outcomes framework and details on public health funding and workforce issues – will follow in the new year.

Anita Marsland, Transition Managing Director, Public Health England, said: ‘Our programme aims to transform public health and create a true “wellness” service to meet today’s public health challenge, improving health and protecting against health hazards.

‘These documents complete the high-level design of the system. Work on the detail will, of course, continue, particularly to map current functions and structures to the new design of Public Health England, and the detailed transition planning for the transfer of public health from primary care trusts to local government.

‘Input from partners to the process to date has been vital and we will be looking to continue that engagement in the process as we progress over the remaining months before implementation.’

In the new system the NHS will continue to play a full role in providing care, tackling inequalities and ensuring every clinical contact counts.

The Chief Medical Officer will continue to provide independent advice to the Secretary of State for Health and the Government on the population’s health, while the Department of Health will set the legal and policy framework, secure resources and make sure public health is central to the Government’s priorities.

If you would like the documents in an alternative format, please email

In Health and wellbeing boards, Local government, News, Public health, Public Health England | Tagged , , ,

2 Responses to New public health system takes shape as more details published

  1. David Stone says:

    This is an exciting and potentially groundbreaking reform of the publc health system in England. Public health practitioners will be feeling anxious and there will be many armchair critics but that is to be expected.

    Might I suggest that there is one key element missing? I don’t see an overarching health improvement strategy for England. Perhaps the intention is to develop one based on previous white papers such as ‘Healthy lives, healthy people: our strategy for public health in England’ and I would welcome that. But it needs to be given the very top priority. That white paper was strong on structures (the new public health “system”) but weak on the specific public health actions – deriving from an overarching strategic framework – designed to improve the health of the population.

    I would be pleased to assist the DH develop strategic thinking on public health/health improvenment and have been in touch with you about this separately.

    David H Stone
    Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology
    Paediatric Epidemiology and Community Health (PEACH) Unit, University of Glasgow
    Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow

  2. Pauline Moroney says:

    With regards to the outburst of obesity, planning permission should NOT be given to any more McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets (we have two such fast food places side by side in our area open up to 11 p.m.). Simple nutritious cooking should be taught at secondary school level to both sexes. Ten minutes compulsory exercises to take place before lessons each morning.

    These measures would go some way to solving the problem.