Public health refers to all organised measures (whether public or private) to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole.
Public health strategies are well-established with embedded performance monitoring in place and they are working systematically to improve the health and wellbeing of our population, reduce risk factors and alter our environment. This is being done through:
- prioritising prevention and early intervention that will achieve change for the greatest number of people at an affordable cost;
- championing approaches that support individuals, families and communities in taking responsibility for their own health and wellbeing; and
- working with partners across government, non-government and private sectors to make certain that public health is included in all policies. This means that we will ensure people have the necessary skills and knowledge and live in environments (e.g. built, social, fiscal) and communities where healthy choices are easy choices.
Delivery of these objectives is across the three domains of Public Health, namely: Health Improvement (e.g. healthy lifestyles, tobacco control, alcohol, drugs, mental health); Health Protection (e.g. infectious disease control, population screening, chemical and radiation hazards); and Healthcare Public Health (e.g. broken bones, heart attacks, sexual health, safeguarding).
Health Intelligence in Public Health
- Health Intelligence in Public Health works to measure and describe health and wellbeing, as well as health risks, health needs and health outcomes for our populations. This includes collecting, analysing and interpreting health-related data to give meaningful information. This is the "engine" of Public Health that is used to inform the delivery of our services. In 2019 the results of the Guernsey and Alderney Wellbeing Survey will be published to describe the health and wellbeing of our population and provide evidence to inform services.
- This will be enhanced by ongoing work to develop a Public Health Outcomes Framework, which will provide an overarching vision for public health, desired outcomes and measured indicators; all of which will enable benchmarking with other jurisdictions. The Outcomes Framework will take into account four key areas and will be supported by increased health intelligence to enhance the delivery of evidence-based programmes and initiatives and estimate their impact:
- Improving the wider determinants of health;
- Health improvement;
- Health protection; and
- Healthcare Public Health and Preventing Premature Mortality.
Health Improvement Commission for Guernsey
- In recognition of the importance of the prevention in healthcare, the Health Improvement Commission for Guernsey and Alderney was established in 2018. The Health Improvement Commission is an independent body that brings together public, private and third sectors to help raise awareness, encourage healthy lifestyle choices and take proactive steps to improve islanders' general health and wellbeing, mentally and physically. The Commission will focus on the operational delivery of health improvement services and will work with Public Health Services on the following strategies:
- Healthy weight
- Drug and alcohol
- Tobacco control
Working alongside Third Sector Organisations, Primary and Secondary Care and Community and Voluntary Services, Public Health is leading the implementation of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan. A key piece of work that is being led by Public Health Services is a suite of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments to ascertain the health and care requirements of our community. The first will be published in the second quarter of 2019 and will examine the needs of older people. The aim is to move our reactive model of care to a blend of a proactive model, focusing on prevention and early intervention, and a reactive model, ensuring the availability of high quality health and care services.
This demonstrates that the Committee for Health & Social Care is moving towards a more collaborative approach of commissioning, which reflects the intent of the Partnership of Purpose Policy Letter.
Further information about Public Health Services is available from www.gov.gg/publichealthinfo