Director of Public Health's Annual Report (2012)
Last updated: 22/11/2013
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We are on the cusp of the most significant change for public
health for 40 years but the only test that really matters is
whether this new system can produce better health and wellbeing for
our population. How will we deliver significant improvements in
health, wellbeing and happiness that matter to local people? How
will we tackle the ongoing unfairness of inequalities in our
From April 2013, the majority of local public health functions
will transfer from the NHS to our two local authorities – Cornwall
Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly. This creates a
fantastic opportunity for prevention to be further embedded in a
wide range of key services like education, planning and
transportation and the care of more vulnerable people including
children and those in older age.
The good news is we already have good links and partnerships in
place across many key policy areas like reducing harm from tobacco
and alcohol, tackling obesity and improving mental health and
wellbeing, as well as tackling local inequalities in health. We
hope the specialist skills of public health colleagues will prove a
helpful resource for Council members and staff already working to
support local communities. It also provides an opportunity for
taking forward two or three priority interventions on a large
scale, working with partners and local people, using Cornwall and
the Isles of Scilly as a test bed for innovation.
The key elements of support we want to bring are around
understanding the evidence base when designing services, good
analysis of population needs and changes in outcomes and most
importantly seeing the needs of different population groups and
targeting support where it is needed most. That is the challenge
that has been set down by the Government in its vision for a better
public health service with local authorities taking the lead and
one that each Director of Public Health is expected to deliver
We will also work to link up with the other parts of the public
health system – the NHS Commissioning Board, Public Health England
and Kernow Clinical commissioning groups as well as continuing to
be a key link into health services.
We must make the best use of resources, build services around
the needs of the public and make sure local people are getting the
quality of support they deserve.
When looking at health and wellbeing it is important to think
about the possibilities and not just the challenges we face. The
change in public mood during the recent Olympics was inspiring. A
nation focused on achievement and positive news was a welcome
contrast to the usual stories of public disagreement and conflict.
As the first host to the Olympic Flame we felt that possibility
before anywhere else in the UK and it was kept alive through some
great local achievements in the Olympic and Paralympic Games that
If we can start from common values that can be a powerful driver
of change. That doesn’t have to be about the superhuman effort of
winning a gold medal but can be about a lonely neighbour who needs
help or creating opportunities for families to have fun and be
active in the open air.
This report has deliberately been built around the new Public
Health Outcomes Framework which sets out a number of important
measures across different life stages and areas of need or
opportunity. We will use this framework as a benchmark for progress
and complement it with our contribution to the delivery of the new
Health and Wellbeing Strategies for Cornwall and the Isles of
Scilly. We must also be sure that the voice of local communities is
heard and responded to especially for those who are seldom heard
but may be suffering from the poorest outcomes.
I want the new public health service to build on the
achievements of recent years, reach into new opportunities for
better health and wellbeing and be all about positive change. I
look forward to working with you all in this new system for the
benefit of our local residents.
Director of Public Health
Council for the Isles of Scilly
NHS Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Please use the links on the left hand side of this page to view
the full report.