FSRH Consultation Response: We support the creation of the Office for Health Promotion with accountability into the CMO
Date: 30 Apr 2021
Type: FSRH Consultation Responses
We welcome the opportunity to respond to the consultation ‘Transforming the public health system: reforming the public health system for the challenges of our times’ by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
DHSC has consulted on proposals for the reform of the national Public Health system. This follows the announcement of the dissolution of Public Health England (PHE) last year, and the creation of a new UK health protection agency, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Key points in FSRH's response
- We support the creation of the Office for Health Promotion. A single source of advice and evidence at the heart of national decision-making would warrant greater ownership and accountability by the Government. We urge DHSC to prevent the loss of expertise in women’s reproductive health currently housed under PHE, and to invest in embedding additional expertise.
- We welcome the proposal for direct accountability of the Office for Health Promotion into the CMO. CMO accountability may represent an opportunity for ownership of Public Health at whole-system level, as well as to integrate women’s health across Public Health and the NHS.
- We welcome the proposed cross-government ministerial Board on prevention with the aim of driving forward action and accountability on the wider determinants of health. Tackling the unmet need for contraception would improve long-term health outcomes for women and children, addressing wider determinants of health and tackling health inequalities. We call on the Board to prioritise women’s reproductive health amongst competing policy agendas, placing it at the core of a preventative approach to health.
- To ensure that system reform is effective, fragmented commissioning and accountability in women’s health need to be addressed. There is consensus across health professions that the commissioning and accountability landscape is not fit-for-purpose. We urge DHSC to adopt the joint position on integrated SRH commissioning by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), Royal Colleges and Faculties, which calls for women’s reproductive healthcare to be more broadly integrated into women’s health pathways in the NHS.