The 'All Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Care & Public Health' was established in 1998 by Stephen Hesford MP, Dr Howard Stoate MP, members of parliament until the May 2010 elections, and Lord Hunt of King's Heath who is the current chairman alongside Kevin Barron MP and Julie Elliott MP. The function of the Group is to raise the profile of primary care and public health within Parliament; to speak within Parliament on behalf of both users and those working in the NHS; to place primary care and public health high on the Government's agenda and to inform debate by parliamentarians with outside bodies.
Proposals made in the Public Health White Paper, "Healthy Lives, Healthy People" are ambitious and will see major changes to public health services in England. The aspiration behind the document; "to create a framework which empowers people to make the changes that will make a difference to the nation's lives", is admirable but challenging.
The report details "It is vital that addressing the great challenges to public health is a joint responsibility involving everyone, including individuals, employers, schools, public health bodies, manufacturers, local and central government departments and agencies, GP consortia and the wider NHS." The report continues to make 13 specific recommendations to Government, "which, if accepted and implemented we are confident will take us closer to ensuring a healthier nation." The full document is accessible here, however recommendation 7 is detailed below:
The proposed public health reforms need to target the education service as well as health care and we recommend it is no longer the choice of individual schools to deliver comprehensive health education but that it is made a statutory requirement with inspectors auditing its effectiveness. We further recommend government mainstream the evaluated resource "Making Sense of Health" in all schools in England to form part of the curriculum.