From 1 April 2013, local authorities have been given the responsibility for improving the health of their local population and for public health services including most sexual health services and services aimed at reducing drug and alcohol misuse. The Secretary of State continues to have overall responsibility for improving health, but national public health functions have been delegated to a body known as “Public Health England”.

The legislation that set the devolution of public health in place is the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The report “Local authorities’ public health responsibilities (England)” contains information on public health funding; how local authorities have been spending their ring-fenced public health grants and on accountability arrangements.  This responsibility is being phased in until complete in 2020 for which the NHS have been providing funding for local authorities through the “Better Care Fund”.

Local authorities continue to be responsible for social services such as the duty to provide welfare services in the form of residential accommodation for those who are in need of care, because of age, illness or disability, which they cannot otherwise obtain. Primary health needs continue to be met by the NHS and disputes can arise over whether an individual’s care should be paid for by the NHS or by the local authority on a means tested basis. The document NHS Continuing Healthcare in England provides information about the division of responsibilities between local authorities and the NHS.

Public Health

Moorgreen Hospital

Moorgreen Hospital has been under review for more than a decade and still its future has not been properly established.  However, the Hampshire West Clinical Commissioning Group have said that although part of the site was sold for housing, the rest will be for Health use only.  A key stakeholders meeting including clinicians is expected early in 2016.  Learn more…

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Following the death of Connor Sparrowhawk in 2013, an independent Health body, Mazars published a report into the processes and procedures of organization charged with Connor’s care.  This was reviewed by the HASC committee with a recommendation to review again in six months time.  Learn more…