Greater co-ordination planned for public health

The Government is planning to improve the co-ordination of public health
services at primary care level by establishing dedicated public health networks
around the country.

Health minister Lord Hunt said in November the Government planned networks
to "pool expertise and skills in specialist areas of public health"
for GPs.

Primary care trusts will also be required to appoint a director of public
health and a specialist support team.

He said each network will be able to respond to the needs of cities for
public health advice and action programmes.

"The new NHS structures will not be able to ‘match’ every local
authority boundary, but a flexible and responsive public health network will be
able to support cities like Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne in
becoming healthy cities."

Each network will be expected to be established and designed at a local
level, but they will be co-ordinated by regional directors of public health,
who will represent the Department of Health.

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