Intended for healthcare professionals


Reorganisation of public health in England is “a terrible mess,” conference hears

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 06 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4652
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The relations between the many organisations involved in public health in England in the wake of the Health and Social Care Act remain to be worked out, a leading official at the Department of Health has admitted.

Ann Goodwin, project manager for the Public Health England transition team, speaking at a Westminster Health Forum seminar in London on 5 July, said that further design work was needed and that there were potentially “a host of different ways” in which local authorities—given responsibility for public health under the act—could relate to Public Health England, the NHS Commissioning Board, and the new local health and wellbeing boards. She urged people to respond with their suggestions to a consultation launched by Public Health England.

But John Ashton, a long serving director of public health from northwest England, said that, with the consultation closing on 6 July, far too little time had been allowed for responses. “It’s a mess, …

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