Turning Point Responds to Health Committee Report on Public Health

News item posted: 19 June 2017

Responding to the Health Select Committee's Public Health report, published today, Turning Point's Chief Executive, Lord Victor Adebowale said;

"Whilst we agree that the new public health plans for local authorities make sense, we share the concerns raised by the Health Committee of the lack of statutory duty on local authorities to reduce health inequalities.  For years the inverse care law has meant that those who need help the most are the least likely to get it.  If we are to tackle this issue, it needs to be regarded as a key priority by everyone responsible for the delivery of public health.

"As they adopt their new responsibilities, it is also key that local areas commission services based on clear evidence of need.  Turning Point's own experience shows that research into local health and social care needs, including issues of public health, is best done using a bottom up approach; by training members of the local community to carry out a detailed analysis, and getting them to work alongside commissioners in designing appropriate services.  We would encourage all local authorities to carry out this kind of research before making key decisions relating to public health.

"Turning Point has long argued the case for the integration of social care and health, including public health.  As such, we support the need to integrate the first NHS and Social Care Outcomes Frameworks with the Public Health Outcomes Framework.

"The report is right to focus on alcohol as a key national public health issue but places little emphasis on drug addiction, which also has huge cost to individuals and to society as a w hole.  Turning Point believes effective drug and alcohol treatment is best delivered using an integrated model. As well as delivering positive public health outcomes, integrated drug and alcohol services also make communities much safer places to live in.  The government would do well to continue investing in this kind of treatment as on its own, the new Responsibility Deal is not enough."