The Board received a presentation from Professor Peter Kelly, Public Health England Regional Director and NHS Regional Director of Public Health North East and Yorkshire regarding the Public Health England System Changes (for copy see file of Minutes).
The presentation highlighted the following:
· Our purpose
· Our national and local presence
· PHE Place and regions
· PHE People and resources
· The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)
· The Office of Health Promotion (OHP)
· Other PHE functions
· The PHP will sit at the heart of DHSC and the wider system
· To be determined:
o How will UKHSA, Office of Health Promotion (DHSC), NHSE and local government interact?
o Local operating procedures for health protection between UKHSA and 12 x NE Local Authorities
o Funding of UKHSA and all other public health destinations
o How will the ICSs work in the future? Will there be a role for the Regional Public Health Team, and if so, what will it be?
o Future pandemic planning, surge capacity and ‘reserve force’
o Spending review
· Role of the Health and Wellbeing Board
Following a question from the Chair asking what differences would the board see with the changes to the public health system, Professor Kelly explained that the changes were within the operational detail and so people would not notice any changes. They would continue with a good system of operation with clear protocols in place. The board would help to ensure the health of the County improved, especially in areas of deprivation to the East of the County, making a difference to daily lives and narrowing health inequalities.
Jane Robinson, Corporate Director of Adult and Health Services, Durham County Council asked what mechanism would be used for the things that were still to be determined. Professor Kelly said that some would be determined nationally but his approach was that the framework gives us a guide but that there was still a need to sit down and work out the best way that works for us. The structures could be different in each area but would be designed in County Durham for the people of County Durham providing the best solution for us.
Councillor R Bell was concerned that the boundaries of the geographical areas did not fit with the boundaries of the ICS, and hoped that any funding would not migrate to the larger areas. Professor Kelly explained that the merger had already taken place last May and provided a successful system in North Yorkshire and the North East. The ICS was designed around patient flows to the big hospital centres across the region.
Further to a question from John Pearce, Corporate Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Durham County Council about what help we had from the regional level for the North East, Professor Kelly reported that there was a command control. Detailed discussions took place with the Secretary of State on National Policies to help deliver what was best for the region and locally.
The Chair thanked Professor Kelly for attending.
That the presentation be noted.