This article aims to consider the transfer of public health responsibilities to Local Authorities, and implications for promotion of health and wellbeing through partnership. The article describes findings of interviews with stakeholders in one London borough.
Elements of the Partnership Assessment Tool (PAT) provided a framework for semi‐structured interviews.
A limited history of successful partnership between health and social care was attributed to a focus on partnership structures over behaviours. Transfer of public health responsibilities to the Local Authority was seen as an opportunity to address the wider determinants of health, but a shared vision for health and wellbeing had not been articulated. There appeared to be an expectation that the public health team would operate in a network partnership model.
While the PAT is presented as a complete tool, this project isolated elements of the tool to support development of the interview structure. The project did not include interviews with clinical members of the developing Clinical Commissioning Group, who may have different requirements of the public health function; this is an area for future research.
Recommendations are made to support effective integration of public health responsibilities into Local Authority functions.
This project provides a snapshot of preparations for the transfer of public health responsibilities to the Local Authority in one area. Relevant literature suggests that experiences in this area are not unique and findings and recommendations are likely to be applicable elsewhere.
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