Call for evidence - local authority public health prescribed activity

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Closes 17 Apr 2018


This document is seeking evidence on the prescribing in regulations of specific local authority public health activity and invites responses by 17 April 2018. Evidence may, for example, be in the form of experience, case studies or research. The Government will review all of the responses and give consideration to next steps.

The White Paper Healthy Lives Healthy People: our strategy for public health in England[1] (2010) outlined a radical shift in the way the Government tackles public health challenges. The Government recognised the need to empower individuals to promote healthier lifestyles and to put local communities at the heart of public health.

Local government is best placed to shape solutions that address local needs, tackle the causes of ill health and build healthier communities, through democratically accountable leadership and national action. Central government takes the primary role in defending the population against threats to health and ensuring a coherent system for planning for, and responding to, threats.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012[2] amended the NHS Act 2006 to give local authorities (LAs) the leading role in improving their population’s health and the Secretary of State (SofS) the duty to protect the health of the population in England and reduce health inequalities. The 2012 Act allows the SofS to make regulations requiring LAs to take particular steps to improve or protect health – ‘prescribed’ activity. The current regulations are described below.

It is now over four years since public health duties transferred back to LAs, and the system has had the chance to settle and mature. The Government remains committed to the primary legislative framework for public health which was established in 2012, and the existing regulations remain in force. However, the Government recognises that it is timely to take stock of the regulations to ensure the system is working as it should be and is fit for the future. This is given added relevance by the announcement in December 2017 that the Government intends to replace the ring-fenced public health grant and conditions with LAs’ own business rates retention (BRR) funding from April 2020.




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If you enter your email address then you will automatically receive an acknowledgement email when you submit your response.

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