Public Health England

The Department of Health have published a paper about the structure of the body that will determine how public health services develop over the next few years.

For us this is important as Public Health England (PHE) will replace the National Treatment Agency and some of the functions of the Department of Health itself when it comes to drug and alcohol services.  This chance gives us a chance to increase the profile of prevention within substance misuse interventions and therefore hopefully to continue to drive down the use (and misuse) of drugs and alcohol by young people.

The new structure includes a big team of over 500 people in the health improvement and population health directorate (see above) who will be accountable for developing:

a 21st century health and wellbeing service, supporting local authorities and the NHS to deliver improvements and reduce inequalities in the nation’s health.

They will be tasked with:

  • securing high-quality professional public health advice and support to the NHS Commissioning Board to effectively influence the NHS role in prevention and reducing health inequalities
  • championing the use of behavioural science in achieving transformational change
  • building credible national and international alliances to promote health and wellbeing and secure a broad-based programme for reform within Government, the NHS, the independent sector, the voluntary and community sector, and internationally

To do this they will:

  • lead high-impact national health improvement social marketing campaigns to achieve behaviour change
  • share capability and lessons across the public health system and assess promising approaches ahead of local adoption
  • embed prevention and health improvements that reduce the burden of disease
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