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Public Policy and Health

Commissioning Public Health Services

Commissioning Public Health Services: the impact of the health reforms on access, health inequalities and innovation in service provision

PI: Linda Marks with Co-Investigators: David Hunter, Shelina Visram (all Durham University); Anne Mason, University of York, Howard Davis, Coventry University and Joanne Smithson, Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East; and Research Associates: Llinos Mary Jehu, Durham University and Dan Liu, University of York; Administrator: Lisa Monkhouse)

In April 2013, major public health reforms came into force in England: local authorities were given new responsibilities for promoting, protecting and improving the health of their populations. Public health teams were relocated from the NHS and local authorities received a public health budget, transferred from the NHS and intended for public health purposes. The reforms reaffirmed the role of local authorities in influencing social factors with an impact on health and health equity and were intended to promote innovation and local responsiveness in a context of democratic accountability.

In this Department of Health-funded Policy Research Programme (PRP) study, over a 30 month period (2015-2017), this project will evaluate the impact of the reforms through three interrelated workstreams. Workstream 1 investigates how the public health budget is being spent over time while Workstream 2 explores innovation in how preventive services are being provided, remodelled or targeted and how local communities are involved. Crucially, success of the reforms depends on public health-related changes in mainstream local authority services, and this is investigated in Workstream 3.

Methods include surveys to provide a national overview, data analysis of spend and health outcomes and in-depth studies of ten local authorities.

Research outputs will contribute to effective public health commissioning for the public health budget and across local authority services. The project complies fully with procedures for preserving anonymity of participants and for data governance.

A project External Advisory Group has been convened, spanning policy and practice partners at national and local levels, including representation from the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives, Public Health England, NHS England, Healthwatch England, the Local Government Association and the charitable sector.

page updated 23/02/2016


National Conference on the Impact of the Public Health Reforms

Date: 28th June 2017

Time: 10am-4.30pm

Venue: The King’s Manor, York

<<Booking Form>>


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Contact Information

For further information regarding this study please contact:

Miss Lisa Monkhouse

Research Administrator
Tel: 0191 3340360