The new public health outcomes framework, recently published by the Department of Health, sets out the desired outcomes for public health and how these will be measured.
The framework concentrates on two high-level outcomes to be achieved across the public health system. These are:
- increased healthy life expectancy
- reduced differences in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between communities
The outcomes reflect a focus not only on how long people live but on how well they live at all stages of life. The second outcome focuses attention on reducing health inequalities between people, communities and areas. Using a measure of both life expectancy and healthy life expectancy will enable the use of the most reliable information available to understand the nature of health inequalities both within areas and between areas.
A set of supporting public health indicators will help focus understanding of progress year by year nationally and locally on those things that matter most to public health. The indicators, which cover the full spectrum of public health and what can be currently realistically measured, are grouped into four ‘domains’:
- improving the wider determinants of health
- health improvement
- health protection
- healthcare public health and preventing premature mortality
The Department intends to improve this range of information over the coming year and the framework also sets out how it intends to do that, with the continued engagement and involvement of its partners at local and national levels.