Statement: National AIDS Trust's response to Department of Health and Social Care's new Office for Health Promotion announcement
National AIDS Trust's response to Department of Health and Social Care's new Office for Health Promotion announcement
Kat Smithson, Director of Policy at National AIDS Trust, said:
“There’s still a lot of we don’t yet know, but National AIDS Trust supports the aim to integrate public health approaches much more across the health and social care system. Since the Health and Social Care Act 2012, key services such as sexual health and drugs treatment have been siloed off from wider healthcare and have suffered from deep funding cuts to local authority budgets. In HIV, prevention, testing and treatment have not been joined-up and key aspects of care, such as HIV support services, have slipped through the commissioning net. This movement of health improvement to within the Department of Health and Social Care, and the move to Integrated Care Systems (ICS), do present an opportunity to support better joined-up working between the NHS, local authorities and national bodies to enable services that genuinely support good health for all.”
“But, to achieve these ambitions, public health must be adequately resourced, both at the level of the new Office for Health Promotion (OHP) and at a local level through a meaningful uplift to public health funding.
“The suggestion that the OHP will have a cross-government focus has real potential, but again the devil is in the detail. The Government has committed to a new HIV Action plan this year that will be based on the findings of the HIV Commission. The commission was clear that to achieve the goal of ending HIV transmissions by 2030, required action transcends health policy. Multiple departments must be engaged to support greater equality and to address HIV stigma. The commission therefore recommended the Cabinet Office be jointly responsible for HIV goals. We will need to see the detail of these new proposals before we know if the OHP can truly have the necessary impact across departments if accountability is not built in.”