Heatwave Plan for England

The Heatwave Plan for England is intended to protect the population from heat-related harm to health | Public Health England


This guidance from Public Health England has recently been updated. The Heatwave Plan for England aims to prepare for, alert people to, and prevent, the major avoidable effects on health during periods of severe heat in England.

It recommends a series of steps to reduce the risks to health from prolonged exposure to severe heat for:

  • the NHS, local authorities, social care, and other public agencies
  • professionals working with people at risk
  • individuals, local communities and voluntary groups

The Plan includes ‘Beat the Heat: Keeping care home residents safe and well’, a guide for care home staff.

Full document: Heatwave plan for England


Sexual assault and abuse services

NHS England has published two documents relating to sexual assault and abuse:

Public health functions to be exercised by NHS England – Service Specification: Sexual Assault Referral Centres

This is a service specification to accompany the ‘NHS public health functions agreement 2016-17 (the ‘2016-17 agreement’) published in December 2015. This service specification is to be applied by NHS England in accordance with the 2016-17 agreement.


Strategic direction for sexual assault and abuse services :Lifelong care for victims
and survivors: 2018 – 2023

This strategic document outlines how services for victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse, in all settings of the health and care system, need to evolve between now and 2023. It sets out six core priorities that NHS England will focus on to reduce inequalities experienced.

National HIV self-sampling service

Public Health England | April 2018 | National HIV self-sampling service

Public Health England ( PHE)  and local authorities co-commissioned the national HIVself-sampling service in 2015 to provide a cost efficient and clinically robust remote HIV self-sampling service for sexually active individuals aged 16 years and over. The guidance includes information and reports about the national HIV self-sampling service in England.

HIV sampling
Image source: gov.uk

The self-sampling service aims in particular to increase HIV testing among the most at-risk groups, including men who have sex with men (MSM) and black African communities, as well as other individuals at increased risk of HIV.

This report summarises who is using the service, the proportions of people testing positive and the costs involved.

The HIV self-sampling service complements current local HIV test provision by offering
an online, low threshold alternative to those who either have never tested for HIV or wish to test more regularly.

Procurement of the national HIV self-sampling service was
expected to offer cost benefits to both local and national government bodies. In fact the price achieved through such a large-scale procurement exceeded expectations,
offering: a low cost HIV test; increased capacity and the potential to increase earlier
diagnosis (Public Health England).

The guidance is available to download from PHE

Public health commissioning in the NHS 2018 to 2019

GOV.UK | March 2018 | Public health commissioning in the NHS 2018 to 2019

The NHS public health functions agreement sets out the arrangements under which the Secretary of State delegates responsibility to NHS England for certain public health services (known as Section 7A services).


The services currently commissioned in this way are:

  • national immunisation programmes
  • national cancer and non-cancer screening programmes
  • Child Health Information Services (CHIS)
  • public health services for adults and children in secure and detained settings in England
  • sexual assault services (Sexual Assault Referral Centres)

The guidance can be downloaded  here


PHE’s Public Remit Letter 2018-19

This letter sets out:

  • the role that the government expects Public Health England (PHE) to play in the health and care system
  • the priorities of PHE in the period April 2018 to March 2019

The remit letter can be read here 

Evaluating weight management interventions

Evidence-based guidance to support the evaluation of weight management interventions | Public Health England


This document is an update of the ‘Standard Evaluation Framework (SEF) for weight management interventions’, (2009) which was originally published by the National Obesity Observatory, and is now widely used across England.

It has been updated as a result of feedback from practitioners in the field following a consultation exercise, and to provide support for the Weight management: guidance for commissioners and providers collection.

The document contains a list of ‘essential’ and ‘desirable’ criteria for data required for a comprehensive and robust evaluation. Essential criteria are the minimum data and information recommended to perform a basic evaluation of a weight management intervention. Desirable criteria are additional data that would improve the quality of an evaluation; and enhance understanding about what has been achieved and the processes that have taken place during the intervention.

Full document: Standard evaluation framework for weight management interventions

Sexual and reproductive health: Spend and Outcome Tool (SPOT)

Public Health England (PHE) have produced practical guidance for Local Authorities (LAs) on how to compare spend data on sexual and reproductive health. 


SPOT guidelines
Image source: http://www.gov.uk

The information provides an overview of spend and outcomes across key areas of business for LAs, including:

  • the potential breadth of issues hindering comparisons between outcomes and spend
  • how to identify if the spend or outcomes data, or both, for their LA is suitable for drawing comparisons from
  • next steps for interpretation where data comparisons can be made
  • how to prevent misinterpretation

The guidelines are available here

Improving healthcare access for people with learning disabilities

Guidance for social care staff on how to help people with learning disabilities get better access to medical services to improve their health | Public Health England


The health charter for social care and accompanying guidance provide information about the steps organisations and providers can take to improve the health and wellbeing of the people they support. There are practical tips as well as links to further information and useful resources.

There is also a self-assessment tool to enable organisations signed up to the health charter to measure progress and develop an action plan for improvements.

The series of short information sheets show social care staff how they can help people with learning disabilities to get better access to health services.

The documents can be accessed via Public Health England