Portsmouth City Council’s new responsibility for public health is set out in the  Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Factors such as education, employment, environment, transport, planning, housing, and leisure services are crucial determinants of people’s physical and mental wellbeing and impact on their life expectancy. These wider social factors generally lie outside of the NHS and fit more closely with the work of local authorities.

The  2010 Marmot Review ‘Fair Society Healthy Lives’ gives more information about the impact of social factors on physical and mental wellbeing.

Under the 2012 reforms, local government now works on the three key domains of public health:

  • health improvement
  • health protection
  • health services

In addition to having a general duty to improve local public health, local authorities are taking specific responsibilities for commissioning a list of services, some of which (such as initiatives to tackle smoking, alcohol and drug misuse, obesity, increase physical activity and improve nutrition) are already part of this council’s work, while others (such as the NHS Health Check programme) will be less familiar.

Some responsibilities will be mandatory, including:

  • appropriate access to sexual health services
  • ensuring there are plans in place to protect the health of the population, including immunisation and screening plans
  • ensuring NHS Commissioners receive the public health advice they need
  • the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP)
  • NHS Health Check assessment

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