Experts warn public health reforms will lead to job losses and service fragmentation

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 21 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d417
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Leading public health experts voiced concerns at a conference over the coalition government’s plans to transform the way public health is delivered.

Warnings came from senior policy makers and service managers about insufficient funding for the reforms, potential service fragmentation, and loss to the system of skilled public health staff.

Some, however, highlighted opportunities under the new approach to integrate services more effectively and improve public health outcomes.

Around 90 people working in public health heard health secretary Andrew Lansley explain his reform plans at a conference organised by the Local Government Committee and the Health Service Journal on 19 January.

Mr Lansley defended the November 2010 public health white paper, Healthy Lives, Healthy People (BMJ 2010; 341:c6938; doi: 10.1136/bmj.c6938), that underpins the Health and Social Care Bill published on 19 January (BMJ 2010; 342:d418; doi: 10.1136/bmj.d418).

The changes will see responsibility for public health transferring to local government and leaving the remit of primary …

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