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Government’s plans on public health are too vague, experts say

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d1123 (Published 18 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1123
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Experts from the NHS and local government have voiced fresh concerns over legislation that will pave the way for a major shake up of public health in England.

They warned a House of Commons inquiry that the Health and Social Care Bill is vague about who will be responsible under the new system for funding and coordinating key services.

Frank Atherton, president of the Association of Directors of Public Health, called for greater clarity from government saying that uncertainty carried risks.

He said there was potential for fragmentation affecting services such as health protection and emergency planning, cancer, health in schools, and domestic violence.

He told the inquiry. “It’s hard to see how the pandemic response would be planned under the [new] system. One problem is that GP consortia won’t have the same responsibilities as primary …

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