By Gail Beer, Director of Operations, 2020health
Gail Beer was interviewed by BBC Kent about the NHS reforms and their implications for Kent County Council, who will be taking control of public health. Listen to the interview here (starts at 1:08:00).
April heralds the much published and debated changes to the way we manage the NHS and Public Health.
While there has been much controversy over many of the reforms it is in public health that there is a real chance to make an impact on the health of the nation.
Local Authorities have been busy identifying and making plans to tackle the issues that most affect their communities and voters. Public health must finally win a voice that has been lost during the years it has spent under the wing of the NHS.
There is now a real opportunity to get some joined up thinking going and take positive action to prevent the diseases that are blighting the lives of many. One example, where Local Authorities can make a real impact, is in tackling obesity in our young people, making sure they are fit for school, fit for work and able to lead fulfilling and healthy long lives. This isn’t happening by itself. It will require Local Authorities to bring together those in education, including adult education, providers of local amenities and gyms and local retailers to really make a difference.
Local Authorities are much better at doing this than the NHS. Directors of public health and elected officials have a fantastic chance to get the momentum going and make sure that there is a real change in the health of those they serve.