Community leadership and public health: the role of local authorities

Document type
Smith Institute
Date of publication
17 May 2004
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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This collection of essays aims to develop the debate on how to link up the health sector itself with the many organisations whose activities influence the delivery of public health. Public health issues tend to be discussed within two overarching themes: first, the medical conditions that result in ill health; and second, the non-medical influences that cause ill health. This monograph focuses on the latter theme – the non-medical causes of ill health, which include subjects such as personal behaviours, education, poverty and environmental factors.  Core elements such as preventing disease, improving health and reducing inequalities were once the responsibility of local authorities. After 30 years of change, policy makers increasingly recognise that public health can be affected, for good or bad, by organisations not directly involved in the health sector, and that it is necessary to draw on and combine the strengths of the NHS, local government and the voluntary sector to promote public health.

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