Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters NHS reforms

Local authorities should be responsible for public health

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 14 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d3696
  1. Graham Bickler, regional director1,
  2. Sue Ibbotson, regional director2,
  3. Brian McCloskey, regional director3
  1. 1Health Protection Agency South East, London SW1W 9SZ, UK
  2. 2Health Protection Agency West Midlands, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Health Protection Agency London, London, UK
  1. graham.bickler{at}

Concern about the health reforms has focused on the NHS.1 We have concerns about responsibility for public health. If implemented, the bill will remove statutory responsibility to protect the public’s health from any local organisation.

The NHS Act 2006 makes primary care trusts (PCTs) responsible for protecting and improving population health. This underpins the current public health system. Although partnership working is crucial, the “buck …

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