Public Health Forum

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Public Health Transition – what is the RCN doing for you?

The reforms contained in the Health and Social Care Act have created complex workforce, staffing and HR issues affecting members working in Public Health.

The RCN is committed to working with DH, current and future employers in partnership to ensure that there are transparent processes and systems supporting members through the change. A number of national working groups have been established and the RCN is a key player in these working groups.

The RCN has set up a dedicated webpage to share documents relevant to staff undergoing transition.

The RCN has set up an email address for members who may have questions or issues related to the HR Transition process Hrtransition@rcn.org.uk.  We would also appreciate any comments or views on the attached transition pages.

Public Health Careers - share your story

Helen Donovan, RCN Public Health Adviser, is currently undertaking a piece of work with PHORCaST (Public Health Online Resource for Careers Skills and Training) which aims to demonstrate the varied nature of public health nursing.  Ideally we would like to share with Phorcast nursing stories that have an emphasis on public health practice and showcase these on their website. 

We would be pleased to receive your story on the career profile template (Word 147KB) provided by Phorcast which can be returned via email to Nikki.Mills@rcn.org.uk

Coordinating with other organisations

The RCN has linked up with other organisations for some important campaigns to encourage government to make healthy choices easier for the population.

Tobacco packaging

The RCN is a supporter of the Plain Packs Protect Partnership campaign. Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary, said:

“Every day nurses see the serious health consequences of tobacco, and the RCN has consistently campaigned for initiatives to reduce the number of people who smoke. However, smoking remains the major cause of premature death and disease killing over 100,000 people each year. Crucially, we now need more robust ideas to stop young people smoking in the first place, such as clamping down on the use of tobacco packaging as advertising. This is why we support the campaign for plain standardised packaging.”

Food labelling

The RCN has worked with a wide range of organisations to put together this joint response to the front of pack nutrition labelling consultation for food products.  The recommendation in this response is for consistent traffic light labelling for fat, saturates, sugars, salt and energy. Please visit Joint response to UK consultation on front of pack nutrition labelling.

Proposed changes to public health in England

Changes to the funding, commissioning and delivery of public health services in England have been proposed by the Government in the White Paper Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our Strategy for Public Health in England.

The RCN has been promoting the role of nursing in discussions at every stage of the consultation process.


In January 2012, the Department of Health published the public health outcomes framework with indicators across the four domains of improving the wider determinants of health,  health improvement,  health protection,  healthcare public health and preventing premature mortality.


The chronology of developments in 2011 can be found here

In December 2011, the Department of Health published documents detailing the role and responsibilities of local government in public health, the operating model for the new executive agency Public Health England and an overview of how the whole system will work. To download factsheets from the DH website, please go here

You can read the RCN’s press release here

Read Jan Maw’s message appearing on the blog of the Faculty of Public Health “Better Health for All” here, together with contributions from other key public health stakeholders.


In November 2010, the Government launched Healthy lives, healthy people White Paper: Our strategy for public health in England.  This White Paper sets out the Government’s long-term vision for the future of public health in England.

The Executive Summary of the RCN response to the public health White Paper can be found here (PDF 76KB)
The RCN response to the public health White Paper can be found here (PDF 284KB)
The RCN briefing on the public health White Paper can be found here (PDF 136KB)
The RCN launched an extensive consultation exercise with members including a podcast a webcast, and a survey


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