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Our responsibility for Public Health

Councils have been responsible for improving the health of their residents since April 2013.

We have a range of public health functions, but there are five specific responsibilities described by law. They are:

  • Helping protect people from the dangers of communicable diseases and environmental threats
  • Commissioning a range of sexual health services
  • Providing specialist public health advice to primary care services: for example GPs and community health professionals 
  • Organising and paying for height and weight checks for primary school children
  • Organising and paying for regular cardiovascular health checks for people in Sunderland

At Sunderland City Council, we work closely with a number of organisations including Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (opens new window)NHS (opens new window) and Public Health England (opens new window) to deliver high quality services and programmes that are tuned to the specific needs of our communities.

We commission and deliver a wide range of services that cover many areas, from sexual health, alcohol and drug misuse through to NHS Health Checks, mental health and wellbeing, and public awareness campaigns for diseases such as cancer, heart disease and stroke.

It's also our job to promote healthy living, to tackle health inequalities, and to put plans in place so that everyone has the knowledge they need to help themselves stay healthy. 

We also carry out a range of research and intelligence activities to support commissioning and tackle the scale of health inequalities found in the city. This includes leading the production of the statutory Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) for Sunderland.

Find out further information about the Sunderland Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, Director of Public Health Annual Reports and Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment - July 2022 to July 2025 (published 20 July 2022)

If you would like further information, you may find the links below useful:

Public Health England (opens new window)

Local Health (opens new window)

Public health profiles (opens new window)

Public Health outcomes framework (opens new window)

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