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The district council contribution to public health: a time of challenge and opportunity

BUCK David, DUNN Phoebe

A contribution to the understanding, assessment and development of the role of district councils in improving the health of their citizens and communities. The report sets out what determines health, why district councils have an important role to play in shaping it, and the public health system and policy context in which district councils operate. It describes the key areas in which district council functions contribute to public health and provides a quick guide to the high level economics of public health for district councils. In addition, the report presents key evidence, including the impact on health, effectiveness and, where available, cost-effectiveness and return on investment, for each of the core functions of housing, green space and leisure, and environmental health services, arguing that district councils’ wider enabling role, in economic development, planning and engaging with their communities has benefits for health. A number of short case studies of innovation in service delivery in relation to health and wellbeing are also included. In the final section the report outlines a set of high-level recommendations for district councils and other stakeholders to ensure that they take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

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