Public Health in Hampshire
As part of the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, unitary and upper tier local authorities such as Hampshire County Council have a new duty to improve health and co-ordinate efforts to protect the public’s health and wellbeing.
These new responsibilities will allow the County Council to use its in depth local knowledge and experience to improve services and outcomes for Hampshire residents. They fit well with many of its other responsibilities such as social care, schooling, and economic development – all of which influence the health and wellbeing of local people.
As well as being responsible for determining the health and wellbeing priorities for Hampshire through the Health and Wellbeing Board which includes GPs and other partners, the Council will also be responsible for delivering specific public health services for the county with leadership by the Director of Public Health and their specialist team. While there are a small number which must be delivered, such as sexual health services, NHS Health Checks and the National Child Measurement Programme, Public Health advice to NHS Commissioners and health protection, the Council will decide which other services to buy for the county based on the needs of the local population and may vary across the county.
Responsibility for the following services transfered from the NHS to the County Council on 1 April 2013.
- Tobacco control and smoking cessation
- Alcohol and drug misuse services
- Public health services for children and young people aged 5 – 19 (including Healthy Child Programme 5 – 19) and in the longer term all public health services for children and young people
- The National Child Measurement Programme
- Interventions to tackle obesity such as community lifestyle and weight management services
- Locally-led nutrition initiatives
- Increasing levels of physical activity in the local population
- NHS Health Check assessments
- Public mental health services
- Dental public health services
- Accidental injury prevention
- Population level interventions to reduce and prevent birth defects
- Behavioural and lifestyle campaigns to prevent cancer and long-term conditions
- Local initiatives on workplace health
- Supporting, reviewing and challenging delivery of key public health funded and NHS delivered services such as immunisation and screening programmes
- Comprehensive sexual health services (including testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, contraception outside of the GP contract and sexual health promotion and disease prevention)
- “core offer” commissioning advice to NHS Commissioners
- Local initiatives to reduce excess deaths as a result of seasonal mortality
- Public health aspects of promotion of community safety, violence prevention and response
- Public health aspects of local initiatives to tackle social exclusion
- Local initiatives that reduce public health impacts of environmental risks
- Health protection and Public Health leadership to emergency planning
In addition to the Director of Public Health, whose post has been joint between the NHS and the County Council for some years, a small team of specialist public health staff transfered from the PCT to the local authority to lead delivery of these new responsibilities from April 2013.