18. June 2012 17:15
The transition of public health from the NHS to local government could see the loss of a third of its current leaders.
The Asssociation of Directors of Public Health anticipates that up to 60 of its members will not find roles in the new structure.
Janet Atherton, President of the ADPH, said the transition posed “real concerns and high risk to local public health”.
Of 77 respondents to the Association’s survey of directors, only 28 were confident that funding for the new public health service was adequate.
The Association commented that public health in England faces a “significant loss of local public health leadership” with a consequent risk to outcomes.
The survey reported “uncertainty” about the imminent transition: neither the organisational structure nor the terms and conditions have been finalised.
This survey and a previous one in November 2011 led the ADPH to predict that only two-thirds of current public health directors will continue in similar roles within local authorities.
Only 28 respondents said the funding baseline for public health was adequate, with 25 saying it was not, 21 ‘unsure’ and three not replying.
Among the concerns expressed were funding shortfalls affecting sexual health, obesity prevention and treatment for alcoholism and smoking.