Public Health White Paper: 'High time to match resources to local need' - ADASS

Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
Date: 30th November 2010
Embargo: Immediate

Directors of Adult Social Services welcome the approach outlined in todays Public Health White Paper to focusing on health outcomes for all, and improving at a faster rate improved outcomes for deprived groups and communities. According to President Richard Jones, making this happen is a tough task, but one that ADASS and our local government colleagues are up for.

He particularly welcomed the notion of embedding public health within local government, and the lack of prescription within the White Paper. This, he said, begins to make a reality of the idea of localism. It is right that local innovation will have a major role to play as local government develops alongside local communities the delivery of the broad public health agenda across all its activities and partnerships.

He added We need to see a level of clarity concerning what resources will be held nationally and which locally. Wed like to see as much devolved locally as possible, and we definitely support the notion of a health premium to incentivise delivery of locally agreed targets.

"This White Paper underlines the core importance of mental health to the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities, and we welcome the attention it pays to that, and the important role of families and informal carers in the care and support of people with mental health issues. If we are going to help people lead healthy lives, families and communities are fundamental to the tasks we face.

He stressed ADASSs commitment to:

  • Working with people as active citizens to ensure they are supported to take responsibility for themselves, their health and wellbeing,
  • Building preventive and community-based supports to ensure that people stay connected and contribute to their communities.
  • Aligning the way public services come together to deliver better outcomes.

This White Paper supports this direction of travel, he said, and importantly signals a statutory role for health and wellbeing boards as a key piece of the new architecture. It sets out the size of the challenge and an approach to public health in relation to peoples lives, whether children, working-age adults or older people a type of thinking ADASS supports, rather than a siloed approach to how we respond to specific issues like drugs, alcohol and obesity.

He concluded by stressing the importance of aligning adult social care, childrens services, public health and GP commissioning working through health and wellbeing boards to deliver real improvement in outcomes. This will be a key factor determining the success of the important task which lies ahead, of realigning our services in ways which help us to maximise the effect of decreasing resources, eliminate inefficiencies and help all our citizens maintain longer, healthier and happier lives.

or further information contact:
Richard Jones, ADASS President, 01772 534390
Drew Clode. ADASS Policy/Press Adviser, 020 8348 5023/07976837755