The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will publish quality standards for public health, starting with smoking, alcohol use and obesity.
The Institute will work with experts from Public Health England to develop standards for prevention and treatment at the public health level, now the responsibility of local government.
It is anticipated that the implementation of these standards will help to reduce the burden of diseases related to tobacco, alcohol and obesity on the NHS.
They will be based on existing NICE public health guidance, but will be focused to drive and measure improvements in public health outcomes.
Smoking, excessive alcohol intake and obesity are linked to both acute and chronic ill-health, and medicines feature in the treatment of all three conditions – with Lundbeck’s drug to prevent alcohol abuse, Selincro, being a major new example.
Speaking at NICE’s annual conference, Under-Secretary for Quality Lord Howe said: “Public health quality standards alongside and integrated with those for health and social care will provide a key tool to support Public Health England, local authorities and the wider public health community in achieving excellence.
“Our vision is over the next five years there will be a growing portfolio of NICE quality standards covering all the domains in all three outcomes frameworks.”
Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care at NICE, commented that the new public health quality standards “will be a valuable tool for local authorities as they take on their new public health functions, and for Public Health England.
“By bridging the interface across health, social care and public health, NICE public health quality standards will help support integration across the three sectors.”