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Public health agenda more important than NHS, says Lansley

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Health secretary Andrew Lansley has criticised the “obsessive” focus on commissioning consortia, ahead of the publication of the health and social care bill later today.

Speaking at the HSJ Delivering a New Approach to Public Health conference in London, Mr Lansley said public health policy was probably more significant than reforms to the structure of the NHS.

He said: “I very often rail at the TV screen and the radio, because they are completely obsessed with the question of GP-led commissioning and ignore that there are many things we are doing – of which one of the most significant in the bill is the transfer of public health responsibility to local government and the creation of a structure to support local health improvement plans.”

He added: “From my point of view, our plans for public health are at least as significant – perhaps in the long-term the most significant aspect of what we are trying to do – as compared to the plans for the reform and modernisation of the health services.”  

The government is due to publish its health and social care bill this afternoon, ushering in the reforms set out in the white paper Liberating the NHS. A separate bill will be published on public health later in the year.

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • It sounds like he doesn't have a damn clue! He's just using rhetoric to justify pushing through their ideology regardless of what anyone else wants!

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  • Agreed Mike. Sounds like he's saying 'ooh that didn't go down well, oooooh look everyone, this new shiny policy idea over here, ahhhh(stroking his new policy), here's one I made earlier!'

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  • This is so frightening that something as huge as the NHS comes down to this pushing as idea forward that they don't know how its going to work, if it will work at all but we'll do it all the same and lets see what happen's.

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  • if gps are being given more power in the management of the nhs how about training them in advanced management practices and how about training them in clinical skills so that they can widen their scope of practice to deal with more complex needs. in europe gps are totally autonomous and experts in a very wide variety of clinical problems and equiped to carry out diagnostic procedures. it seems that gps in the uk are mere gatekeepers who decide for the patients if they can see a consultant and even chose which one for them which means serious conditions can be overlooked and often overprescribe medication as a substitute for adequate treatment and care.

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  • The problem with "public health" is chronic underfunding. The agenda will not change unless major new resources are made available, regardless of who carries responsibility, the NHS or the Local Councils.

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