The Department of Health have a factsheet which sets out the role of public health in local government in England.
The document describes which services will be mandatory and those that are not going to be prescribed by the Secretary of State.
Those that will be mandatory will be:
- appropriate access to sexual health services
- steps to be taken to protect the health of the population, in particular, giving the local authority a duty to ensure there are plans in place to protect the health of the population
- ensuring NHS commissioners receive the public health advice they need
- the National Child Measurement Programme
- NHS Health Check assessment
As you’ll notice drug and alcohol services, whether for adults or young people, aren’t on that list. The document tries to suggest that being non-prescribed doesn’t make services less important it may help explain why alcohol services are already under some strain.