All's well that ends well?: local government leading on health improvement

Document type
Sillett, Janet
Local Government Information Unit
Date of publication
1 November 2010
Health Services, Community Development and Regeneration
Social welfare
Material type

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This report explores the role of local government in supporting health improvement and tackling health inequalities, and analyses the structure of support needed locally to deliver effective action for communities. The report builds on the work of the Marmot Review in establishing the importance of local activity in tackling the social determinants of health. The main aim is to set out a local government view of what its ambitions are for health improvement and what its support needs are. The report finds that local government clearly views the transfer of public health and the new responsibilities for local authorities outlined in the health white paper as a unique opportunity to shift the policy and public emphasis from the focus on the medical model of health to health and well-being. The new framework for public health should more effectively bring together the work that councils do to influence health and well-being through their core services and leadership role with the more traditional public health and health improvement focus. The new arrangements, with public health staff moved into local government, should also increase the local authority influence over local healthcare planning and provision.