In November 2017 the Local Government Association (LGA) conducted a survey of lead members of public health in England to capture the thoughts of local leaders on public health delivered by their local authority covering their perceptions of public health since transition from the NHS to local government, the priorities councils have set themselves and their ambitions for the future.
- Most respondents (96%) agreed or tended to agree that their council has a clear vision to improve public health for the local population, and the commissioning of public health services is well supported by their council.
- Similar proportions agreed or tended to agree that their council is aware of its issues and challenges with regard to public health, and knows how to address these issues (93%) and that their council has delivered better public health outcomes for the local population (92%).
- The top priorities for public health in their local area among respondents are giving children the best start in life (88%), healthy ageing (67%) and strong communities, wellbeing and resilience (56%).
- The health issue that respondents’ councils are most concerned with at the present time are mental health (27%), obesity in children (25%) and drug and alcohol abuse (17%).
- The main barriers to the council achieving better public health outcomes in their local area over the next two years identified by respondents were insufficient resources (81%), a mismatch between local and central government (47%) and working with the NHS (40%).