District Councils Vital to Public Health Says New Report
A new report by health think-tank the Kings Fund points out the important role that district councils play in Public Health. The document, which was produced for the District Councils Network, says that authorities are in a good position to influence many of the factors that determine our health through delivery of core services.
Among the core functions which can play an important role in health are housing, leisure services and environmental health. The report does admit that because many environmental health functions are statutory, there is little published evidence of the cost-effectiveness of interventions. The authors also call for greater integration in local health and social care policy between district councils and the NHS.
DCN chair Cllr Nigel Clarke MBE said, “District councils have a long and proud history of providing public health services and supporting positive health outcomes for our communities. The ongoing evolution of the public sector emphasises the need for clarity and recognition of the roles districts play in ill-health prevention, and greater understanding of the opportunities for greater collaboration and integration presented by devolution.”
Recommendations within the document include making district councils more pro-active in collating evidence on the health economics of their activities, and the need for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health to work with the DCN to better understand the cost effectiveness and return on investment of environmental health services.
You can view a copy of ‘The district council contribution to public health: a time of challenge and opportunity’ HERE.