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Reaction to the Government’s public health plans

Read statements from the RCGP, BMA and other bodies to the release of the public health white paper.

'We need to work out the details about what incentives there will be to encourage each part of the system to work together and also how to ensure clear accountability. For example, it may be sensible to mandate that GPs sit on local council health and wellbeing boards or keep some public health expertise inside the NHS.' Nigel Edwards, NHS Confederation acting chief executive

'The RCGP will be working closely with the Faculty for Public Health to take forward the College's thinking on how GPs and public health doctors can work most effectively together. We will be responding to the Government consultation on this White Paper and will work through our structures to ensure we are effectively representing the views of our membership.' Dr Clare Gerada, RCGP chair

‘Giving responsibility for public health to local authorities is a positive move and an opportunity to improve co-ordination of the various services with a role to play in improving health. But this must not result in public health being separated from the work of the NHS - GPs and other health professionals have a vital contribution to make so we welcome the emphasis in the white paper on strengthening the role of GPs in improving the health of their local populations.' Anna Dixon, King's Fund director of policy

'If local government is going to take on greater responsibility for public health, it must have the powers and the funding to do the job properly.' John Healey, Labour shadow health secretary

'Smoking is still the leading cause of ill-health and premature death so it is extremely important to help people quit and discourage young people and children from starting in the first place. The BMA therefore urges the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, to implement the tobacco aspects of the 2009 Health Act now as this would end tobacco displays in large supermarkets from September 2011.' Dr Vivienne Nathanson, BMA director of professional activities

'Government's recognition of the central role of the Director of Public Health in realising this vision is welcomed. We recognise that there is still further work to be done during this critical period of transition and look forward to working with government to ensure that a quality public health workforce is in place to deliver lasting improvements to the health of the public.' Professor Lindsey Davies, UK Faculty of Public Health president

'The White Paper is over-reliant on corporate responsibility. History tells us that public health advancement occurs when frameworks change. Obesity and lifestyle change won't come from corporate responsibility, not least since too many of the companies driving and profiting from unhealthy living pour money into marketing that lifestyle.' Professor Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University London

Reaction to the Government's public health plans