Consultation on Future Public Health Provision

Reading Borough Council is consulting on the future of Public Health services in Reading. The consultation can be found online and closes on the 6th January 2019.

Local authorities are responsible for Public Health and receive funding for it - which has, however, been reduced in recent years. The Public Health function is to coordinate action in cases of widespread infection, to assess the health of the population in detail for use in health care planning, to carry out preventative health care such as vaccination programmes, smoking cessation programmes, health weight programmes and so on.

Almost everyone agrees that Public Health is essential to the operation of the National Health Service. The last five-year forward view (or plan) was predicated on a sustained improvement in the public health function - which never materialised. Preventative care will become of greater importance with our ageing population.

We are part of an integrated care system. It will be vital for the Public Health function to be planned together with local health care in an integrated way. Only in that way can our whole healthcare system function efficiently and effectively.