NHS role for county council in shake-up

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North Yorkshire County Council has become responsible for some public health services as part of structural changes to the NHS which came into effect from April 1.

The county council is now responsible for commissioning public health services from a £19m ring-fenced annual budget in order to improve the health of residents in North Yorkshire and reduce health differences between communities.

The county council has already appointed a Director of Public Health, Dr Lincoln Sargeant, who will be the principal adviser on healthy communities to its Health and Wellbeing Board.

As part of its responsibilities, the local authority must ensure: appropriate access to sexual health services; that NHS commissioners receive the public health advice they need; the provision of the NHS Health Check assessment; and that plans are in place to respond to health protection incidents, outbreaks and emergencies.

The local authority will also become responsible for public health commissioning in areas such as smoking cessation services; alcohol and drug misuse services and local-led nutrition initiatives among others.