This is a new era for public health, with a higher priority and dedicated resources. This White Paper outlines our commitment to protecting the population from serious health threats; helping people live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives; and improving the health of the poorest, fastest.
It responds to Professor Sir Michael Marmot’s Fair Society, Healthy Lives reportand adopts its life course framework for tackling the wider social determinants of health. The new approach will aim to build people’s self-esteem, confidence and resilience right from infancy – with stronger support for early years. It complementsA Vision for Adult Social Care: Capable Communities and Active Citizens in emphasising more personalised, preventive services that are focused on delivering the best outcomes for citizens and that help to build the Big Society.
Subject to Parliament, local government and local communities will be at the heart of improving health and wellbeing for their populations and tackling inequalities. A new integrated public health service – Public Health England – will be created to ensure excellence, expertise and responsiveness, particularly on health protection, where a national response is vital.
The proposals in this White Paper apply to England, but we will work closely with the Devolved Administrations on areas of shared interest.
To get the details of the new system right and ensure that it delivers significant improvements to the health of the population, we will be consulting on some elements.
Some organisations have requested that we extend the consultation period for the public health white paper, Healthy Lives, Healthy People to bring it into line with the two other consultation documents on the new public health system. We have now extended the consultation, in order to allow people plenty of time to consider the proposals and to respond to all three documents. As a result this consultation will now close on 31 March 2011.
The consultation process
Criteria for consultation
The consultation follows the Government Code of Practice on consultation. In particular we aim to:
- formally consult at a stage where there is scope to influence the policy outcome;
- consult for at least 12 weeks and consider longer timescales where feasible and sensible;
- be clear about the consultation’s process in the consultation documents, what is being proposed, the scope to influence, and the expected costs and benefits of the proposals;
- ensure that the consultation exercise is designed to be accessible to, and clearly targeted at, those people it is intended to reach;
- keep the burden of consultation to a minimum to ensure consultations are effective and to obtain consultees’ buy in to the process;
- Analyse the responses carefully and give clear feedback to participants following the consultation
- ensure officials running consultations are guided in how to run an effective consultation exercise and share what they learn from the experience.
The full text of the code of practices is on the Better Regulation website.
How to comment on the consultation process
If you would like to make any comments about the consultation process we have followed, please contact the Consultations Co-ordinator, Department of Health, 3E58 Quarry House, LEEDS, LS2 7UE. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not send answers to the consultation questions to this address or mailbox.
Confidentiality of information
We manage the information you provide in accordance with the Department of Health’s Information Charter.
Information we receive, including personal information, may also be published or disclosed in accordance with the access to information regimes (primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004).
If you want the information you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory code of practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, among other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this, it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information, we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on the Department of Health.
The Department of Health will process your personal data in accordance with with DPA and in most circumstances this will mean that your personal data will not be disclosed to third parties.
What Happens Next
Summary of the consultation
A summary of the response to the consultation questions on the White Paper ad forthcoming consultations on the proposed public health outcomes framework and the scope, funding and commissioning of the Public Health England will be meade available before or alongside any further action (such as laying legislation before Parliament), and will be placed on the consultations website.