0-5 Children’s public health transfer

The Local Government Association has published Must knows: Children’s public health transfer. It details councils statutory responsibility for commissioning children’s public health services for children aged 0-5 following the transfer of these responsibilities from the NHS on 1 October 2015. This joins up with the much larger transfer of public health functions to local government which included responsibility for 5-19 year olds, which took place on 1 April 2013.

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The Association for Young People’s Health has published Key Data on Adolescence 2015, with support from the National Child and Maternal (ChiMat) Health Intelligence Network, PHE. This tenth anniversary edition includes the latest data on health, education, employment and demographics and examines trends over time. The latest edition focuses on the social determinants of health and has new sections on lifestyle and common physical health problems, and an extended section on mental health and wellbeing.

Support for those bereaved by suicide


An updated guide Help is at Hand designed to be given out by bereavement support organisations and by those who are likely to be first on the scene after a suspected suicide, including police and ambulance staff has been published. For the first time, individuals who have been bereaved by suicide have been the principal authors of the guide, with support from experts at Public Health England and the National Suicide Prevention Alliance.

Childhood MMR vaccination rates fall

The proportion of two-year-old children in England having the MMR vaccine has fallen, according to NHS statistics.

In 2014-15, 92.3% of children had the jab to protect them from measles, mumps and rubella.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre said the figure was 92.7% in the previous year – which was the highest level of coverage ever achieved.

Some parts of the country had less than 80% of children immunised against the infections.

The target rate is 95%, which is enough to prevent the diseases spreading in a community.


New resource to aid local public health professionals

Health matters is a new resource for public health professionals. It is designed to support commissioning and delivering services across local areas.

A quit smoking resource is the first of a planned series. Future editions will include tobacco, obesity, alcohol, antimicrobial resistance, tuberculosis, early years and dementia, with some editions looking at other areas of PHE’s mandated functions.


Reducing health inequalities

Public Health England has published two guides aimed at support staff working with people to reduced health inequalities:


Public Health England and other UK public health organisations have issued a joint statement on E-cigarettes.   All organisations agree that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful than smoking, and that the evidence suggests that the health risks posed by e-cigarettes are relatively small by comparison but studies must continue into the long term effects.  The organisations acknowledge that e-cigarettes are the most popular way in which smokers try to quit smoking, rather than using stop smoking services, but that these services remain the most effective way for smokers to quit the habit and remain stopped.

Additional link: Royal Society for public health press release