Staying healthy

A healthy choice: Building a stronger NHS PDF (379 KB)

This CBI report focuses on three areas to accelerate reform and deliver an NHS fit for the 21st century. In particular, it sets out: how patient choices must be driven by advice, support and information; a vision for commissioning in the NHS; the foundations for effective health market management. (Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 2008)


Be Active, Be Healthy: A plan for getting the nation moving PDF (3.94 MB)

Be active, be healthy establishes a new framework for the delivery of physical activity. Programmes outlined in the plan will contribute to Government’s ambition of getting 2 million more people active by 2012 and have been designed to leave a lasting legacy from the Games. Be active, be healthy sets out new ideas for Local Authorities and Primary Care Trusts to help determine and respond to the needs of their local populations. To achieve our ambitions for a healthier, fitter nation we will need a world-class delivery infrastructure for physical activity. (Department of Health, 2009)


Birth to Five (2009) PDF (362 KB)

This is a recently updated version of the publication that was originally released by the Department of Health (DH) in 2007. Birth to five provides support, useful contact information and advice on rights and benefits to parents of children aged from 0-5 in addition to the support given by health visiting teams. The book also contains information on issues associated with becoming a parent, such as how to take care of one’s self and one’s child and get practical help and support in the early stages of parenthood. Birth to Five aims to introduce parents to the Healthy Child Programme for their child’s first few years of life, explaining issues associated with immunization, health and wellbeing. The guide reinforces the advice from midwives and health visitors. (Department of Health, 2009)


Birth to Five on NHS Choices website

Birth to five is an online tool developed by the National Health Service (NHS) and works as an interactive guide for mothers who have a newborn child, a toddler or a pre-school-aged child. This guide contains 150 pages of NHS-accredited information, videos and interactive tools to help mothers through the parenting process. It covers a vast range of topics from how to soothe a crying baby to how to prepare a child for school. Birth to Five website


Capital development programme for impatient and residential rehabilitation substance misuse services PDF (109 KB)

2008-09 Addendum guidance sets out delivery of the development programme including guidence on the reallocation of funds in the event that the scheme is unable to succeed.  (Department of Health, 2008)


Commissioning framework for health and wellbeing PDF (1.53 MB)

This guidance document sets out the commissioning framework for health and well-being. It outlines the eight steps that local authorities in conjunction with commissioners and providers of health and social care should take in partnership in order to commission more effectively.  (Department of Health, 2007)


Commissioning local breastfeeding support services PDF (393 KB)

This commissioning guidance by DCSF and the Department of Health aims to assist commissioners and primary care trusts (PCTs) in 'providing services that will promote breastfeeding and reduce inequalities', as set out in Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures – the strategy for children and young people’s health and to work with local Children’s Trust partners in delivering Public Service Agreement (PSA) 12. (Department for Children, Schools and Families, 2009)


Giving children a healthy start:  review of health improvements in children from birth to five years PDF (3.10 MB)

In February 2010, the Audit Commission issued its report on the local implementation of national policy from 1999 to 2009 on the health of children from birth to five years of age in England.  The report found that recent increased focus and funding for early years has not produced widespread improvements in health outcomes. Indeed some health indicators have worsened – for example, obesity and dental health –and the health inequalities gap between rich and poor has barely changed.

Recommendations which commissioners of early years and children’s centres should consider include:

  • local services work under a single joint set of priorities and targets, supported by a clear statement of government policy not subject to frequent revision and addition;
  • responsibility (and therefore accountability) for commissioning and delivering services is clear locally;
  • the amount spent on under-fives’ health within an area is identified and its targeting reviewed, so as to have most impact on the most vulnerable groups;
  • data on the extent to which intended users are actually accessing services is routinely examined and action taken to identify and attract those that are not;
  • the targeting and impact of individual interventions and services are rigorously reviewed, and investment and disinvestment decisions made accordingly;
  •  local statutory bodies monitor the quality and impact of services for  the under-fives in the light of financial pressures to ensure that they are maintained;
  • and  the good practice that is evident in some localities is celebrated and information about it widely shared.

(Audit Commission, 2010)


Healthy FE Programme website

The DH-funded Healthy FE programme is aimed at improving the health and well-being of learners and staff in the FE sector. A number of case studies are highlighted providing examples of how FE colleges and PCTs are working in effective partnerships to deliver on a range of community health targets, including sexual health, mental well-being and substance misuse. Details of these case studies are on the website  Further examples will be uploaded on a regular basis.


Healthy Schools Programme website

Universal health promotion for school-aged pupils is being promoted through the joint DH and DCSF Healthy Schools Programme. This programme has developed an enhancement model which supports schools to develop best practice in identifying the health needs of children and young people in relation to local priorities. From identifying these needs schools will be encouraged to work with partners to develop appropriate interventions to meet the needs. This may well inform and influence local commissioning and any commissioning that schools may engage in with reference to the health and wellbeing of children and young people.  Further information is available at


Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: Commissioning weight management services for children and young people PDF (813 KB)

This document provides guidance on using the Child Weight Management Programme and Training Providers Framework, which has been developed by the Cross-Government Obesity Unit to support local commissioning of weight management services for children and young people. (HM Government, 2008)


Pregnancy Planner on NHS Choices website

This online tool was produced by the National Health Service (NHS) and is an interactive planner aimed at mothers who are planning to have a baby, are already pregnant, or have given birth. It contains information on how to have a healthy and happy pregnancy, ensuring mothers get the relevant care that they need. The planner has over 250 pages of NHS-accredited information, including videos and interactive planning tools and facts on that help mothers to choose the best maternity services in their local area. (National Health Service, 2009)


Securing better health for children and young people through world class commissioning PDF (847 KB)

Jointly published by the DH and DCSF to accompany Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures, this describes what world class commissioning for children, young people and their families looks like. (Department for Children, Schools and Families and Department of Health, 2009)


The Pregnancy Book (2009) PDF (316 KB)

Published by the Department of Health (DH) in October 2007, this recently updated version of The Pregnancy Book will be given free to all expectant mothers and parents in England. It looks at all aspects of maternity and provides support, useful contact information and advice on rights and benefits and also works as a complete guide to the entire process of pregnancy, from conception through to the first few weeks of the baby’s life. The book aims to provide support for the mother, her partner and the baby in order to ensure optimal health and wellbeing for all involved. The book can also be used by midwives and health visitors to support their work with expectant families. (Department of Health, 2007)


You're Welcome quality criteria PDF (5.73 MB)

The Department of Health (DH) led quality criteria sets out minimum standards to help commissioners and providers of all health services to ensure that the services are appropriate and meet young people's needs.  The criteria are designed to be applied to both NHS and non-NHS  health provision whether specialist or targeted.  Implementation assists improvement in the quality, suitability and efficiency of services delivered, covering general, chronic and acute health problems and health promotion.  The ten themes include content on: confidentiality and consent; staff, training, skills, attitudes and values; joined up working; transition; sexual health; and mental health and well being. Further details are available on the Department of Health website. Examples of case studies will be uploaded on a regular basis. (Department of Health, 2009)


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