First set of local government briefings unveiled
Tobacco, physical activity and workplace health are the topics covered in NICE's first set of local government public health briefings.
Improving public health is of increasing importance due to the rise in health inequalities and preventable disease.
Smoking is currently the main reason for the gap in in life expectancy between rich and poor; and tobacco use is the single greatest cause of preventable deaths in England.
Furthermore, with rising levels of obesity, physical activity remains essential for maintaining good health, with research suggesting inactivity could soon have the same impact on health as smoking.
From April 2013, councils in England will be taking on the role of improving the public health of their communities.
To help councils with this new role, NICE has started developing a range of local government public health briefings, the first set of which are published today.
The guidance provides help for those working in local government through advice on which actions are most effective in improving health, and provide best value for money.
Developed with input from councillors and local government officers, the briefings are based on recommendations from existing NICE public health and clinical guidance.
Examples of effective recommendations highlighted in the new briefings include making your organisation an exemplar in smokefree policies and in the support provided to help employees stop smoking; designing new developments to encourage physical activity and offering advice in the workplace to improve employees' wellbeing.
Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE said: “NICE public health guidance sets out what works best to keep communities healthy - actions which also often save money both in the short and long-term.
"So we're delighted to be publishing the first of a new range of briefings which summarise our main guidance recommendations, and which are specifically tailored to support local government in its expanded role.
"The Local Government Public Health Briefings highlight why each topic is an important issue to tackle and how local communities will benefit as a result, presented along with examples of good practice and quick facts and figures to make a case for action."
Phillip Woodward, former Local Authority Chief Executive and Chair of the independent Local Government Reference Group which guided development of the briefings, added: “We hope these new briefings will make it easier for Directors of Public Health, elected members and senior officers in local authorities to find out which public health actions are most effective while also providing the best value for money.
“The briefings are produced with input from a broad range of stakeholders and professionals, as well as community members and leaders, so we envisage that this advice will assist local government in developing tailored effective approaches to improve the health of their local populations.”
Visit our local government page for further and information and support from NICE, and to keep up with latest developments in public health for local government.
25 July 2012