Public health reforms: an independent assessment

This report, commissioned by the Local Government Association, assesses the success of the 2013 reforms to public health in England, which were part of the Coalition government’s wider health reform programme | The Kings Fund

These reforms, which saw the responsibility for many aspects of public health move from the NHS to local government, involved transition of staff and services and required the formation of new relationships to ensure public health was embedded across local government services.

The report looks at the effects of the reforms in both the short and longer term and looks at the impact of the changes, which have brought opportunities for innovation and integration, as well as challenges, at a time when funding for public health has been cut. The author then takes a look into the future and the implications for public health in the context of the NHS long term plan, the government’s prevention consultation and the wider shift to population health systems.

Full report: The English local government public health reforms: an independent assessment | The Kings Fund

A health index for England: opportunities and challenges

The Health Foundation | October 2019| A health index for England: opportunities and challenges

A new long read from The Health Foundation explore the government’s proposal to make health a core measure of government success by creating a national health index for England.
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The long read considers:

  • Why develop a new national health measure?
  • What would a new health measure look like – and what are the potential problems?
  • What measures of health should we use?
  • How could government get the most out of a national health measure?

The Health Foundation 


Wider Determinants of Health

Public Health England’s Wider Determinants of Health tool has been updated, providing the latest data for key indicators of the ‘root causes’ of ill health.

This tool brings together available indicators at England and local authority levels on the wider determinants of health with links to further resources.

The Wider Determinants of Health tool is designed to:

  • draw attention to the broad range of individual, social and environmental factors which influence our health
  • provide the public health system with intelligence on the wider determinants of health, to help improve population health and reduce health inequalities

This update contains:

  • new data for 5 indicators already released in other Fingertips profiles
  • an update of 14 existing indicators to add new data

See also: PHE news release | PHE Blog

Hepatitis C in England and the UK

Public Health England | September 2019 | Hepatitis C in England and the UK

Public Health England (PHE) has released its latest PHE hepatitis C virus (HCV) reports and supporting documents, for England and the UK. The report estimates that around two-thirds of people living with hepatitis C may not realise they have the virus, with PHE urging those at risk to get tested. The latest releases are also  accompanied by slidesets and infographics.
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Hepatitis C in the UK 2019 slideset and


Hepatitis C in England 2019 slideset and




See also:

PHE press release Tens of thousands unaware they have deadly hepatitis C infection

Further information is available from PHE

Routing out childhood obesity

Royal Society for Public Health | September 2019  | Routing out childhood obesity

Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity have  produced Routing out childhood obesity a report that outlines a outlines a range of recommendations for transforming the street environment, particularly around schools, with the ambition that all children should have access to a healthy route home.


Routing out childhood obesity
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Researchers aimed to combine street-level mapping and fieldwork with first-hand insight from children throughout Lambeth and Southwark, in order to paint a picture of the key street-based influences on diet and activity experienced by a child over the course of an ordinary day.
Key messages of the publication:
  • People’s lived experience of their neighbourhood has an important impact on how they differentially interact with features of their environment.
  • There is often a crucial window of exposure to obesogenic environments for children during their daily routes to and from school, which can have a substantial impact on food consumption.
  • Unhealthy fast food outlets have in some cases become de facto extensions of the school environment. This often isn’t driven by a desire for food but by a lack of other appropriate, safe, affordable and socially acceptable spaces for young people after school
  • Positive food environments in the school and home can easily be undermined during the post-school period.
  • Advertising exposure and tailored marketing has a large influence on driving young people to consume more.
  • More attention must be paid to the needs of teenagers in the design of green space, with youth-led initiatives to address the lack of age-appropriate equipment in many parks (Source: Royal Society of Public Health)

Health inequalities: place-based approaches to reduce inequalities

Public Health England | July 2019 | Health inequalities: place-based approaches to reduce inequalities

Public Health England (PHE) has published Health inequalities: place-based approaches to reduce inequalities; the aims of the ‘place-based approaches for reducing health inequalities’ are to:

  • reinforce a common understanding of the complex causes and costs of health inequalities
  • provide a practical framework and tools for places to reduce health inequalities


Place-based approaches for reducing health inequalities: foreword and executive summar

Place-based approaches for reducing health inequalities: main report

More documents available from PHE

See also:

PHE blog

Supermarkets need to ‘nudge’ customers to make healthier choices, says Royal Society for Public Health

Royal Society for Public Health | July 2019 | New RSPH report: Health on the Shelf

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is calling on supermarkets to play a bigger part in ‘nudging’ customers to make healthier choices in its new report Health on the Shelf
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The report explores the public’s perception of supermarkets and the marketing strategies retailers use to boost sales. It also showcases how supermarkets can be health promoting spaces for customers. The reports outlines how:

  • 1 in 3 of us make unhealthy impulse purchases if they are on special offer at the supermarket
  • Almost 90% of products positioned on shelves at children’s eye level were found to be unhealthy
  • By 2050 obesity is predicted to rise by 73% to 26 million
  • 50 % of those polled believe there are more unhealthy
    products on supermarket shelves than healthy products

A panel of experts in public health, nutrition, diet, weight management, consumer insights and retail, were invited to discuss what a healthy supermarket
could look like and how supermarkets could be more effective in nudging people towards healthier behaviour. The panel discussed every element of the
supermarket experience, from layout, understanding the shopper, promotions and price.

In addition Slimming World polled over 2000 members of the public and 2000 Slimming World members to hear their views on how supermarkets are contributing to the obesity
epidemic and how they could do more to help people live healthier lives.

“The environment in which we live is a major contributor towards obesity, and supermarkets have both the power and influence as well as a responsibility in tackling their contribution to this “obesogenic” environment. There has been some progress by supermarkets in areas such as removing junk from check outs, but our research shows that shoppers and industry experts feel there is much more supermarkets can and should do to promote healthier choices.”

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH

In its report the RSPH makes a number of recommendations for retailers and the government (Source: RSPH).

Press release from RSPH 

Health on the Shelf