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Local authorities and public health

Influencing toolkit 2

Why is public health relevant to physiotherapy?

  • The public health agenda is increasingly important to policy-makers as a way to reduce the burden on health services and health inequality
  • It includes activities on health promotion, health improvement and the prevention of ill health
  • Physiotherapy has an important role to play in this, for example through early intervention, the prevention and management of long term conditions, keeping people fit for work and promoting healthy lifestyles
  • So public health service commissioning has the potential to be an important source of new funding for many physio services.

How does public health commissioning work?

  • File 122648

    Public Health England has national responsibility for public health and allocates funding to local authorities

  • Local authorities have public health teams, and Directors of Public Health who commission public health services in their area (where you have both a district and a county council, it is the county council who is responsible for health and social care)
  • As well as commissioning they also influence others – for example, encouraging local employers to support health at work
  • They work on local priorities set out by the Health and Wellbeing Board and the nationally set Public Health Outcomes.

How are local authorities involved in health?

Local authorities have a growing involvement in the health system. Public health is part of this. So it is important that they understand the contribution of physiotherapy.

What can I do?

What makes sense for you will depend on your situation. These are just a few ideas:

  • Have a look at the CSP public health and physiotherapy resource pack
  • Familiarise yourself with public health priorities, both local and national
  • Work with your team to see where your service does,or could, contribute to achieving these priorities
  • Develop relationships with the Public Health team in your council, if possible the Director of Public Health
  • Link up with others – such as CSP members, voluntary sector, patient groups
  • Find out what other CSP members are doing and share what you find out. Get in touch with your Regional Network
  • Register with the iCSP Public Health network
  • Working together helps us all. Let us know how you get on through your Regional Network.

Further resources

This information forms part of the CSP's influencing toolkit

Download a PDF version of this information


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