Over recent months there has been a renewed focus at the national level around commissioning of public health with a consideration of commissioning responsibility being mentioned in both the NHS Long Term Plan and in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s proposals for possible changes to legislation.
We know public health has always been a key issue for our members so, in response, NHSCC has produced a position statement on public health commissioning, which was developed with and informed by the views of our members.
Our position statement sets out the clear view of clinical commissioners that shifting commissioning responsibility for public health is not the answer to improving current provision – addressing key issues such as insufficient funding and fragmentation within the public health system instead need to be prioritised. Rather than shifting commissioning responsibility, CCGs would like to work more collaboratively with public health teams in local authorities, for example through joint commissioning arrangements.
We understand civil servants will make a recommendation to the Health Minister at the end of April 2019 so this is an important position that we will be using to influence and shape the discussions at the national level. We have already used it in discussions with the Department of Health and Social Care as well as during a recent event convened by the Public Health System Stakeholders Group.