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Public health transformation four years on: Maximising the use of limited resources

Case studies

This year’s compilation of case studies shows how local authorities continue to make progress on improving health and wellbeing and tackling health inequalities since public health was formally transferred from the NHS in April 2013. It builds on last year’s compilation – Public health transformation three years on: extending influence to promote health and wellbeing (2016). In all, since the first publication 46 areas have provided case studies.

The case studies were chosen because they show a range of effective ways in which councils are approaching their public health responsibilities. They include councils spread across England covering both rural and urban environments and with varying degrees of deprivation and affluence.

The case studies identify highlights of progress over the past year, plans for the future, learning and key messages. The context to all the case study areas is that they have had to find ways of delivering public health with significantly less resources than in previous years, and that this is set to continue. This is the first year in which local government has had full responsibility for public health of children aged 0-19. Some of the case studies indicate how councils have begun to develop an integrated public health service for children and young people.

A number of themes and messages have been identified from the case studies, and these have been augmented by information from other recent LGA case study-based reports – for example on rural public health and working with the voluntary and community sector. Because this is a small sample, themes are indicative of the direction of travel but cannot be seen as representing the state of public health throughout England. However there has been considerable consistency in the themes and messages from the case studies covered in this series, which suggests that they present a reasonable reflection of public health in 2017 in local authorities that are performing well. There is also considerable overlap with other reports on public health published in 2016.