Future Opportunities and Challenges

We are moving into a new era for Public Health in Sheffield, which will require new ways of working, but which presents us with big opportunities as well as a few challenges.

As well as signalling the transfer of Public Health into local authorities, the NHS White Paper ‘Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS’ (July 2010) set out the Government’s plans for reforming NHS commissioning arrangements. Specifically commissioning of healthcare at a local level will become the responsibility of primary care based ‘clinical commissioning groups’.

Local authority public health and well being commissioning will be brought together with the commissioning responsibilities of the local Clinical Commissioning Group in a new formal partnership called a ‘Health and Well Being Board’. The Health and Well Being Board will be responsible for preparing a health and well-being strategy for the City. Both Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Group commissioning plans will be expected to support delivery of this strategy.

It is in the context of these developments, and in particular, the context of an over-arching health and well being strategy that the main opportunities for improving health and tackling health inequalities will emerge. In this section we describe the six areas of Public Health activity where we believe there is greatest potential to realise these opportunities and deal with the associated challenges.