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PHE to tackle wide-ranging health issues in next year

Over the next year Public Health England (PHE) will be extremely busy carrying out a wide range of actions in order to improve public health – ranging from supporting local NHS service integration through to developing a Health and Wellbeing Framework.

The national public health agency, which has a remit to improve and protect the public’s health, will, in August, publish a Health and Wellbeing Framework for England to provide an account of the challenges to health, which will set out the interventions it believes would “improve health and reduce inequalities”.

The Framework will also provide a menu of evidence-based interventions that all engaged in improving health can adopt to transform the health of the people of England.

PHE also has plans to develop a programme in support of national and local government to reduce the 25,000 deaths each year across the country attributable to air pollution. This will be done by March 2015. And it will also a data capture system for reporting healthcare-associated infections, again by March of next year.

By October 2014, the agency will produce a national implementation framework for physical activity; it will conduct a review of specialised services by November 2014 to identify key areas for action to optimise value and population outcomes in support of NHS England’s urgent and longer term work; and will roll out the national standard for Workplace Wellbeing Charter by March 2015. This aims to activate and engage employers of all sizes in all sectors to recognise the return on investment for supporting the health and wellbeing of staff.

Other interesting work will involve supporting local NHS organisations to integrate public health by building the evidence base and sharing examples of people-focused, integrated preventative approaches. It will also help local authorities make the best use of resource through the rollout of the return on investment tools developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

During the next few months PHE will also develop plans with Genomics England and NHS England as part of the 100,000 genomes project.

It will review the emerging evidence on e-cigarettes to provide evidence-based recommendations to support smoking cessation, tobacco control and to inform the government’s future thinking by spring 2015.

There are also plans to implement an integrated workforce planning framework by September 2014. And PHE will carry out a comprehensive strategic review of its functions and purpose to ensure that it delivers its responsibilities in the most “efficient and effective way”, doing more and new for less by October 2014.

PHE will also go ‘digital first’. It states: “We need to improve our digital activity so we meet our users’ needs. This year we are developing a digital strategy, starting to rationalise our websites and improve our digital services, and getting the specialist digital skills we need. We will transition 15 websites to GOV.UK and NHS Choices by July 2014.”

It also plans to finalise options to create a “science hub” of national and international importance in protecting and improving the public’s health, based on the Science Hub Survey. An outline business case is expected to be produce by next month.

Duncan Selbie, PHE chief executive, said that in the next year: “PHE will play its supporting role in health improvement through communicating what matters to good health and what can be practically done by people themselves and by those who exist to serve them in government, local government, the NHS, business and the community and voluntary sector.”

In a letter addressed to Selbie from Jane Ellison MP, parliamentary undersecretary at the Department of Health, she outlined that there are number of priority actions PHE must focus on.

For instance PHE must protect the public’s health through the application of cutting-edge science, extending and improving world-class immunisation programmes, preventing people dying prematurely, improving outcomes for people with long-term conditions, and developing the workforce, all of which will be reported back to the government by spring 2015.

Ellison added: “The government looks to PHE to make real progress in improving outcomes for the most serious public health problems that we face, and will hold it to account for doing so.”

To view the entire 2014-15 business plan for PHE, click here.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


Michelle   21/07/2014 at 22:12

I would agree that we need to start a wholesale education programme to all sectors of society on taking responsibility for choice and Health Outcomes. I don't agree this needs to cost a fortune, but with effective communication, being honest and clear with society about the reality of the Nations Health including those that deliver health care . We simply cannot continue thinking If we have download for this and a gadget for the other it will achieve the long term health and life style changes in the nations behaviour that is required -

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