Where does nutrition fit into the new NHS?

Posted by Shaleen Meelu on Friday, 07 December 2012 in General

Where does nutrition fit into the new NHS?

In the nineties and noughties, nutritionists developed,delivered and co-ordinated the following:

  • Food-in-Schools (breakfast clubs, healthier vending, healthier catering, curriculum links, water)
  • Child obesity interventions (local and 'franchises' - MEND, GOALs etc)
  • Adult weight management (various)
  • Support for patients with specific health conditions e.g. CHD and diabetes
  • Culturally sensitive food for health promotion 
  • Promoting government campaigns e.g. 5-a-day, Change for Life, Healthy Start
  • Early years nutrition including support for mothers and staff in early years' centres
  • Training a variety of public sector workers including nurses, school staff, care home workers
  • Setting up and managing food access projects including urban agriculture and support for local convenience stores 
  • National Child Measurment Programme 
  • Food and health promotion events and activities in public settings
  • Healthier catering in public sector settings and supporting community organisations
The programmes were funded by public health directorates based in Primary Care Trusts and regional Department of Health. 

The New NHS

The new public health system will have a new national delivery organisation known as Public Health England. Along with the NHS Commissioning Board, the national and regional representation of these organisations will have health commissioning responsibilities and these will need to be taken into account when trying to map out services available to support the public. 
 
At a local level, Health and Wellbeing boards set targets which may include e.g. reducing smoking rates, reducing overweight/obesity, improving mental health and wellbeing, reducing alcohol related hospital admissions and reducing healthy inequality gaps. These targets are included in the Public Health Outcomes Framework (domain 2 - health improvement and domain 4 - increased life expectancy) and can also be linked to the NHS Outcomes framework. The clinical commissioning groups will also be involved in delivering some cross cutting topics such as breast feeing uptake and smoking in pregnancy.
 

But who is responsbile for commissioning public health nutrition services?

Most people agree that chronic disease prevention is ia priority for the NHS, yet, it isn't clear how prevention programmes will be commissioned and delivered. At the moment, health improvement teams are trying to justify inclusion into the new local authority public health structures but who is responsible for making this decision and are we providing enough information about the kind of services we offer. Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to speak to my networks to find answers to the following...

What do commissioners need to know about nutrition in order to understand what services to offer to the public? 

What additional information do we need to provide to be taken seriously? 

....If you are a nutritionist and would like to discuss, please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07990660055.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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Hi, my name is Shaleen Meelu and I am the founder of Healthy Futures. I’m also a registered nutritionist and I have helped over 3,000 people embark upon healthy living programmes.

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