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Anne Milton (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health; Guildford, Conservative)

Today I am publishing “Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Towards a workforce strategy for the public health system”.

The consultation document aims to:

set out proposals for a work force strategy that would support highly qualified, motivated public health specialists who will be employed in a range of settings including local authorities, the NHS and Public Health England in the future public health system; and

explore opportunities for employers to develop and embed public health knowledge and skills into the wider work force.

The skills of people working throughout the public, voluntary and private sectors are crucial to protecting and improving the health and well-being of the population, and addressing health inequalities. The consultation document considers how future systems for education and training can support the development and use of those skills to help achieve this goal and make the progress we need to address our big health challenges. It considers what roles people working as specialists in public health and in a wide range of other sectors can and should play to make public health everyone’s business and how they can support individuals to promote their own health and well-being and make more informed decisions.

The development of this consultation has been an inclusive process, with involvement from key stakeholders to help us build a work force that can transform public health. The subsequent strategy, which we plan to publish in autumn 2012, will be shaped by a range of views. It will be an important contribution to making the future public health system a success.

Under the proposals in the Health and Social Care Bill, local government will take on a significant new leadership role in public health, employing a substantial proportion of the public health work force. The consultation document has been developed, and is co-branded, with the Local Government Association.

“Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Towards a workforce strategy for the new public health system” has been placed in the Library. Copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.

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