Health minister warns GPs 'set for public health role'

GPs have been given the clearest indication yet they will be handed a significant role in future public health measures.

Ms Milton: health White Paper is an opportunity to improve the UK’s health (Photograph: Nathan Clarke)
Ms Milton: health White Paper is an opportunity to improve the UK’s health (Photograph: Nathan Clarke)

Public health minister Anne Milton is planning a fully integrated public health system across all government departments, social and health services, in which primary care will play a ‘crucial’ role.

Speaking at a Kings Fund event in London on Wednesday, she acknowledged that GPs do not see public health as their ‘default’ mindset and said efforts would be made to avoid pushing extra workload onto them.

But Anna Dixon, director of policy at The King’s Fund, said it was time GPs were held to account on public health.

The details of any general practice involvement will be announced in a public health white paper in the autumn.

 Click here to view health White Paper 2010 news and analysis

It is expected that GPs will be asked to increase brief interventions for topics such as smoking and obesity, as well as an expansion of public health outcomes under QOF.

But it remains unclear whether all these tasks will be incentivised.

Ms Milton described the public health White Paper, due in the autumn, as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to improve the UK’s health, starting with attitudes towards public health.

‘We need to bring public health out of the lecture theatre and into the living room,’ she said.

Anna Dixon, director of policy at The King’s Fund, said: ‘GPs have responsibility for registered population so they have a natural affinity for public health. There’s a real opportunity, if we hold them to account for public health.’

Ms Dixon said it was important incentives were right to ‘seize the opportunity’ to improve public health, adding that previous incentives such as QOF showed that you ‘get what you pay for’.

Take part in our new White Paper 2010 survey to be entered into a draw for £50 worth of Amazon vouchers.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP trainees still paying thousands for NHS levy Boris Johnson promised to scrap

GP trainees still paying thousands for NHS levy Boris Johnson promised to scrap

GP trainees are among overseas NHS staff continuing to face demands for thousands...

GP fear surge of avoidable illness as patients skip routine vaccinations in pandemic

GP fear surge of avoidable illness as patients skip routine vaccinations in pandemic

Patients have been urged not to skip routine vaccination amid concerns the COVID-19...

GPs plan drive-through flu clinics amid COVID-19 safety fears

GPs plan drive-through flu clinics amid COVID-19 safety fears

GP practices are planning drive-through flu clinics to maximise uptake of jabs during...

£20,000 golden hello scheme could trigger hidden costs, accountants warn

£20,000 golden hello scheme could trigger hidden costs, accountants warn

A government scheme offering £20,000 golden hellos for new partners could trigger...

GPs demand release of COVID funding as practices face 'severe financial disruption'

GPs demand release of COVID funding as practices face 'severe financial disruption'

GP practices are facing ‘severe financial disruption’ and could go bankrupt without...

£20,000 golden hello scheme for new GP partners opens from 1 July

£20,000 golden hello scheme for new GP partners opens from 1 July

GPs taking up partnership roles for the first time can apply for a £20,000 golden...