Public health commissioning in the NHS from 2013

The NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) and the Department of Health have published their detailed agreement showing how the NHS CB will drive improvements in the health of England’s population through its commissioning of certain public health services.

The agreement sets out the outcomes to be achieved in exercising these public health functions and provides ring-fenced funding for the NHS CB to commission public health services.

The services commissioned as part of this agreement are those where there is, for example, alignment with national clinical pathways and added value of central commissioning.

The services included in the agreement are:

  • National immunisation programmes
  • National routine screening programmes (non-cancer)
  • National routine cancer screening programmes
  • Children’s public health services from pregnancy to age 5
  • Child Health Information Systems
  • Public health services for people in prison and other places of detention
  • Sexual Assault Referral Centres

The agreement provides the NHS CB with £1.8bn from the public health budget for these programmes, in addition to other funding provided for public health in primary care.

The agreement sets out how the NHS CB is accountable for the successful delivery of these programmes, and arrangements for expert support from Public Health England. It provides service specifications which include the public health evidence and advice needed to support effective commissioning.

Full details of the agreement and service specifications are available on the Department of Health’s website.

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