Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Reorganisation of the NHS in England

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 16 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3843

Rapid Response:

Equity and Excellence Liberating the NHS: An opportunity for CLAHRCs to shine in the new Public Health Service?

The recent NHS White Paper, Equity and Excellence Liberating the NHS,
informs us that the current coalition government is committed to
supporting the activities of CLAHRC (and rightly so). CLAHRC or
Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health and Research Care is a
current Department of Health initiative operating at a national level.
This programme enables –

1) collaborative partnerships between the NHS, Social Care,
universities, the voluntary sector and other key partners to prosper

2) high-quality applied health research to be undertaken

3) fostering the translation of research evidence into practice in
the NHS and beyond.

It is essential that research activity continues to take place, even
in these credit crunch times. How else can we be sure that we (or GP
consortia or Local Authorities) are commissioning the most effective and
cost effective services with publically funded, scarce resources?

Sandwell Primary Care Trust (PCT), in particular, are leading on
applied housing and health related research in the Birmingham and Black
Country CLAHRC. This naturally calls for collaborative working between the
PCT and the Local Authority (LA) in the borough. Even more so, the
announcement of the new Public Health Service, which will see public
health functions moving from PCTs to LA, has real potential for research
to become well and truly embedded here – around housing, education,
provision of adult social services – where the wider determinants of
health can really be tackled. CLAHRC could well be the way in which we
foster evidence based approaches to the challenge of commissioning health
and social care within these new structures.

There is no doubt that some parts of the NHS White Paper are cause
for concern. However, as public health practitioners, we welcome the
opportunity for our profession to have a real impact by ensuring that
evidence and evidence based commissioning decisions are at the core of the
new organisations and structures. Perhaps, the CLAHRC model offers up a
way to do this in the future.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 July 2010
Hamira Sultan
Research Manager/ Specialist Registrar in Public Health
Carl Griffin, Consultant in Public Health
Sandwell PCT, B70 9LD