As part of their training, specialists in public health acquire Health Care Public Health skills (also known as public health commissioning support).
This means they can:
- Assess health needs of populations, and how they can best be met using evidence-based interventions
- Support commissioners in developing evidence based care pathways, service specifications and quality indicators
- Provide a legitimate context for setting priorities using ‘comparative effectiveness’ approaches and public engagement.
- Help sustain health services within a cash-limited system
They also engage in service development and the prioritisation of services - without the potential conflicts of interest in relation to individual patients or treatments, since they work in a population-wide context.
This ability to work objectively is key to helping general practitioners and hospital specialists to continue to act and to be seen to act in the best interests of their individual patients.
Download our statement on how public health specialist support can help GP commissioning