What is Public Health?
The Public Health White Paper ‘Healthy Lives Healthy People’ (2010) defines public health as:
“The science and art of promoting and protecting health and wellbeing, preventing ill health, and prolonging life, through the organised efforts of society.”
We take this forward in three ways:
- Health improvement – addressing health inequalities, influencing the wider economic, environmental and social factors that affect health, as well as supporting people to improve their lifestyle
- Health protection – managing infectious diseases and environmental hazards and ensuring emergency preparedness
- Health service improvement (also described as ‘health care public health’) – ensuring that the services commissioned are as clinically effective and cost effective as possible
The following section provides a high level summary of the Public Health programmes we are currently working on under the three headings above. For each programme we describe what we do, why we do it, the outcomes being achieved and our plans for the future.