Public Health: What Does Good Look Like?

The transfer of public health to local government in 2013 was a welcome opportunity to integrate it with local services which affect the wider determinants of health outcomes through place-based approaches. But the move has not been without its challenges. Sizeable funding cuts in the years since the transition will be followed by the complete removal of the funding ring-fence by 2018-19, and the transformation of local government finances through business rate reform. Given the challenges they face in coming years, how can local authorities and their public health teams ensure integrated and innovative approaches to public health?

NLGN is carrying out a research project, supported by the Health Foundation, that will develop unique insight into the impact of the public health transfer to date, and propose recommendations for future directions. We will explore how in practice public health teams have been integrating into wider place-based services, both inside and beyond the council. How do Directors of Public Health conceive of their evolving role in a complex and changing health and social care landscape? Where is innovation happening and what is the potential for further transformation? What are the barriers to progress that can be identified and removed?

This project is part of the Health Foundation’s Strategy Programme. The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.

If you are interested in being part of this research, please contact Lucy Terry on