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Transfer of public health services for under-fives

LGA hails “momentous” transfer of public health services for under-fives

Parents will see "massive benefits" for their children as a result of responsibility for public health services for under-fives transferring to local authorities, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

The move, which takes place on Thursday (1 October), will see local authorities take over from the NHS commissioning of public health services for under-fives so that they will be the lead organisation for children's health and wellbeing across all age ranges. 

Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA's community wellbeing board, said the transfer will lead to a "more joined-up approach to healthcare” that will also improve access to services.

"The transfer of public health commissioning responsibilities for under-fives to councils marks a momentous opportunity to transform healthcare for children, young people and families. It is one of the biggest shifts in public health services in generations. For councils, this is the final piece of the jigsaw after public health responsibilities transferred in 2013."

The transfer covers health visiting and family nursing services, as well as early years checks that are part of the Healthy Child Programme.

Earlier this month, Eustace de Sousa, children's lead at Public Health England, said he was confident that councils would be ready to take on the commissioning responsibilities for under-fives by 1 October.