The RCP has responded to government’s plans to reform how public health responsibilities function, with Public Health England to be abolished and replaced with a new UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and an Office for Health Promotion, that will sit within DHSC.
Our response to the consultation highlighted the following points:
These reforms must be underpinned by sustainable funding for public health so that local authorities can address the needs of their populations. The RCP also has concerns that the delayed proposals outlined in MCHLG’s Fair Funding Review could negatively affect public health funding and risk widening health inequalities.
From UKHSA, local public health partners need support for work and leadership roles, including recognition of the important role of specialist public health skills in the NHS. UKHSA should also support coordination by creating structures that enable integrated approaches at the local, regional, national and international level.
Population health and clinical research should be recognised as health protection capabilities, with tackling climate change also needing to be recognised by UKHSA as an important part of health protection.
The RCP is pleased to see a commitment to working across government to address the wider determinants of health. The proposed creation of the Office for Health Promotion alongside a cross-government ministerial board on prevention are encouraging – the next step should be to develop a cross-government strategy to reduce health inequalities, backed by funding and strong political leadership.
To ensure future arrangements encourage effective collaboration, it will be vital that
integrated care systems (ICSs) are enabled to take an effective approach to public and population health. ICS governance arrangement will need to ensure that local VCSE organisations are not sidelined.
For further detail on our response, please download a PDF copy of our full submission at the bottom of this page. If you have any comments or questions, contact our policy team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.