Action on Sugar, Action on Salt and over 70 health organisations unite to raise serious concerns with Government about plans to reorganise the public health system
Today over 70 health organisations and alliances have sent a joint statement to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Health, and the interim leadership of Public Health England, raising serious concerns about the reorganisation of public health now underway. This follows recent announcements that PHE will cease to exist by April next year and be replaced by the National Institute of Health Protection.
The statement is endorsed by a wide range of leading health organisations, including the Association of Directors of Public Health, the Faculty of Public Health, the Royal Society for Public Health, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the BMA, the SPECTRUM public health research collaboration, the Smokefree Action Coalition and the Richmond Group of health and care charities. The statement warns that:
“Reorganisation risks fragmentation across different risk factors and between health protection and health improvement. Organisational change is difficult and can be damaging at the best of times and these are not the best of times. A seamless transition from the current to the new system is essential.”
While recognising that there are opportunities:
“There are opportunities from this re-organisation to improve on current delivery, but only if there is greater investment combined with an emphasis on deepening expertise, improving co-ordination and strengthening accountability.”
The statement , launched today in a letter to the BMJ from key signatories  sets out the principles which all agree must underpin the new health improvement system. This includes the need for renewed investment into public health to address the years of cuts the sector has seen, an interconnected approach with the right infrastructure and expertise to support national, regional and local delivery; and the need to sustain local government system leadership at local level, while strengthening co-ordination with the NHS.
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 Joint statement to the Government on Public Health Reorganisation. Link to statement and list of signatories https://smokefreeaction.org.uk/phehealthimprov/
 Link to BMJ letter: Rapid Response: Joint statement to the Government on Public Health Reorganisation: https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3263/rr-1
Action on Salt and Action on Sugar has previously raised concerns about the closure of Public Health, to view our response click here