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Councils to take over early years public health from 2015

Responsibility for children’s public health commissioning will transfer to local authorities on 1 October 2015. The announcement highlights the final part of the transfer of public health from the NHS to local government.

The LGA, Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), SOLACE, NHS England, Public Health England and the DH are working together to prepare councils for their new responsibilities.

Public health for children from 0-5 years includes health visiting and the Family Nurse Partnership programme.

A task and finish group is taking forward discussions on mandation, funding and other key issues. The LGA will work to ensure the focus is on delivering a transfer which is “proportionate and based on outcome”. They will affirm funding is sufficient, fair and communicated early to allow councils more time to plan.

The DH said: “Local authorities know the needs of their local communities best, so they will be able to bring together a range of different services for children and families and have more opportunities to reduce the health inequalities in their areas.”

The LGA stated: “We are pleased that the date has now been set; it brings certainty to the sector and to the health system. It also presents a crucial opportunity for local authorities and health partners to join up and continue the transformation of public health services across social care, education and other relevant services for all children and young people.”

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