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Review recommends local authorities continue to commission public health services

The government review, conducted by the Department of Health and Social Care, recommends that the NHS work much more closely with local authorities on public health so that commissioning is more joined-up and prevention is embedded into a wider range of health services.

The Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that the departmental review found that local authorities take an active and efficient approach to commissioning services. He also praised local councils for their work in commissioning public health services and confirmed they will continue to lead on this important work. 

He acknowledged that many local authorities have taken steps to improve and modernise the services they commission, including through digital delivery, such as online STI testing.

He also set out further recommendations from the review, including a shift towards councils working jointly with the NHS to co-commission services specifically for sexual health. 

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the government committed to reviewing commissioning arrangements for some local authority-commissioned public health services.

The Department of Health and Social Care will be seeking views in a forthcoming prevention green paper about how action can be taken forward.

(Published by the Department of Health & Social Care: 7 June 2019)