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Public Health

PUBLIC HEALTH IS NOW OUR RESPONSIBILITY

 

On the 1st April 2013, Public Health functions transferred to local authorities.  This move is in response to the government’s white paper ‘Healthy Lives, Healthy People’ which set out the development of a new dedicated public health service, Public Health England, which integrates public health expertise and provides national support and advice, for local delivery.

 

Local authorities have new responsibilities and will take a greater role in improving and protecting health and wellbeing for the population of Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire, and reducing health inequalities. Public Health does this by understanding and assessing the needs of the population; taking into consideration the evidence base and the impact and costs associated with different health and wellbeing interventions. It then provides population health advice, information and expertise to the Local Authority and Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to support them in improving population health and reducing inequalities.

 

Both Local Authorities have an excellent track record of targeting resources to frontline services, and on the basis of need.  Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council are keen to impact positively on public health issues, and in particular, the clear health inequalities between different communities.

 

The transfer of responsibility for Public Health provides an added opportunity to join up services at a local level; maximising the benefits. In addition, Health and Wellbeing Boards bring together local agencies to work in integrated ways, and facilitate local authorities to capture and share learning as different approaches to health issues emerge.

 

Cllr Colleen Atkins, Executive Member for Adults Services and Community Wellbeing, at Bedford Borough Council, said: “We are committed to improving the health of our residents and have a clear vision of supporting people to live longer and healthier lives. We are working in partnership with a range of organisations, including the NHS and the voluntary sector, to provide the services and interventions needed to improve health and wellbeing, based on accurately knowing the needs of our community and responding appropriately to those needs. This is an opportunity to help improve people’s lives.”

 

Cllr Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Social Care, Health and Housing at Central Bedfordshire Council said: “The comprehensive range of services we deliver and influence – from the housing people live in, to the quality of the air that they breathe and their opportunities for work and leisure - are all crucial to our residents’ health and wellbeing. By working cohesively across the council and alongside other councils and partners, we believe there is enormous potential for us to make a real difference in people's lives.”

 

For more information on Public Health England, visit http://www.gov.uk/

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In this section find out about the makeup of Bedford Borough Council and who your local Councillors are. You can also find out how to register for elections, submit FOI enquiries and more.

 


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